International agency Oxfam, together with its local partners, has begun an emergency aid effort for the victims of the worst floods in Pakistan in 35 years. More than one million people are reportedly affected with more monsoon rains on the way.
Iftikhar Khalid , Country Program Manager for Oxfam in Pakistan, just returned from an assessment trip to the worst-hit district in the province of Punjab. “This flood is of an overwhelming size and its impact is only slowly emerging. The water has swept away everything. Families are desperate about the loss of their loved ones, their belongings, and their livelihoods. Water sources and crops are destroyed. People are in need of food, clean drinking water, shelter, and toilets to avoid a public health crisis.”
Saif Khan, a relief worker with Oxfam partner organization IRSP, visited the Usmanzai town of Charsadda district. “Hundreds of families are displaced and the commercial market in the town is completely submerged, the water touching the roofs of the shops. People are searching for their precious belongings from the rubble of their houses.”
Oxfam, with the help of its partners, has mapped out the 13 most affected districts and is providing rescue services where possible. It will also be providing water and sanitation facilities, and livelihood services to 30,000 households in all the 13 districts during the next three months.