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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hunger, Disease and Homelessness Afflict Pakistan's Flood Victims

Islamic Relief USA’s CEO Abed Ayoub is in Pakistan assessing the current humanitarian situation, meeting with other relief organizations and visiting Islamic Relief’s aid distribution sites.

I’ve never seen this amount of destruction before in my life. Today, my IR USA colleague Adnan Ansari and I visited Sindh and traveled to Jati, a village in Thatta District located near the Arabian Sea. At least 10,000 families occupy Jati, but Islamic Relief is the first and only non-governmental organization to enter and aid an area that was devastated by heavy flooding nearly two months ago.

The roads here are badly damaged and some are still underwater. They will take years and millions of dollars to rebuild.

As we drive along, I can see people sleeping in tents next to the roads.

Much of the flood-affected areas are agricultural which drastically reduces the amount of food available and will also marginalize the availability of food for a long time to come. Sheer desperation from a lack of food has led many people to fish through standing contaminated water in order to obtain a few morsels to eat.

Islamic Relief USA delivered a $20 million aid shipment of medical supplies that has arrived at Islamic Relief Pakistan’s warehouse. The aid shipment, which will be distributed to needy people by Islamic Relief staff members, includes medications that will help treat waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, skin infections and malaria, and also includes anesthetics and antibacterial drugs such as penicillin.

I spoke with a few doctors yesterday who said they are seeing many cases of skin and diarrheal diseases. The severity of medical cases will only increase, especially in Sindh where it will take another two months for the water to rescind. And with mosquito-breeding season rapidly approaching, the threat of increased malaria cases is causing a great amount of anxiety. The situation is dire.

The people of Pakistan are still depending on your support for survival, now more than ever.

Please donate now.
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