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Tip of the iceberg

At this stage, there are more than 14 million people affected by Pakistan’s floods. It is a disaster of epic proportions, unrivalled by any other natural catastrophe Pakistan has experienced.

I’m currently in Islamabad at Concern Worldwide’s head office in Pakistan. Today I’m moving to Charsadda in Khyber Pakhyunkhwa (KPK) to attend an aid distribution with the community there. 

Concern’s team was the first to reach KPK, as we were already working there. 

Helping families

Concern is targeting 10,000 families – 70,000 people – but if funds increase we plan to work with 16,000 families or 111,000 over the coming weeks.

Devastation

One of our staff has just come back from a remote area, with which he is familiar, and could not believe what he saw. He simply couldn’t take in what he was seeing in front of him. Huge areas of land, bridges and all the main roads had simply disappeared – it’s just muck and water. Everything is gone. He met a family who had lost six of their children. We’re hearing stories like that all the time. 

Supporting others

What isn’t being captured by the media is that Pakistanis who are not in the disaster areas are really mobilising and trying to support others. There are drop-off areas around Islamabad where you can leave food and blankets for distribution. 

The iceberg

It’s important that people understand the magnitude of this. We all see emergencies, but this is something on a scale that nobody has ever dealt with before. 

I can only talk to you about things we’ve seen. It’s kind of like an iceberg – we’ve only seen the top of it. We haven’t been able to get access to the communities that have been completely cut off or washed away. 

Here for the long run

This country is going to take years to get back on its feet. Concern is focusing on the emergency now, but we’re here for the long run and will start working on long-term recovery in the next month or so. 

So, any contribution anybody can give, no matter how small or big, will go a long way in this very difficult situation. 

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