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Pakistan: devastation on enormous scale

Concern Worldwide’s country director for Pakistan, Dorothy Blane, and assistant country director, Mubashir Ahmed, tell us what they make of the devastating situation in which they find themselves.

 

According to Dorothy, as featured by The Non-Profit Press, the scale of the emergency in Pakistan is alarming. The lives of hundreds of thousands are at immediate risk. We have anecdotal evidence that children are already dying. If we don’t act quickly, many more will die. Millions of families have yet to be reached with vital aid, especially food, water and medical support.

Wave of death

The World Health Organisation predicts that up to 1.5 million cases of diarrhoeal diseases could occur over the next three months. These conditions can be treated easily but they will go unattended and cause this “second wave of death” if the international community does not provide more funding, and fast.

Hardship and damage

Mubashir wrote two blog posts for The Huffington Post:

Pakistan's greatest natural disaster continues to unfold before our eyes. This disaster, in terms of hardship and damage, threatens to overshadow the impact of the 2004 tsunami, the 2005 earthquake, and this year's Haiti earthquake – combined. 

In terms of infrastructure, 50 years of investment and progress has been wiped out overnight. This emergency is major and it requires large-scale humanitarian intervention to prevent suffering, if not loss of life, on an enormous scale. 

Potential danger

There are still areas that are inaccessible, especially in Swat, where communities prior to the floods were suffering from chronic internal conflict and were already vulnerable. More than half of this district is not yet reachable. Our local partners on the ground there are doing a remarkable job caring for victims while managing to operate effectively. These partnerships with local NGOs, built up over nearly a decade, are proving invaluable.

It is hard to exaggerate the dangers of a potentially devastating impact on the lives of millions of Pakistanis. The world must respond quickly and substantially.

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