ISLAMABAD: The cluster of international NGOs (INGOs) has initiated flood relief activities worth $4.8 million in all the four provinces and Gilgit-Baltistan and has appealed to global donor agencies to help Pakistan combat the serious natural disaster.
However, member organisations of Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF) said they were facing difficulties in reaching out to the vulnerable and affected areas.
The PHF has already initiated immediate response activities by contributing $4.8 million to reach out to 362,564 people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh, Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan.
Talking to media, PHF Country Coordinator Syed Shahid Kazmi said the forum and its member organisations were engaged with the government of Pakistan and the donors to devise emergency relief and rescue strategy to minimise human loss from the ongoing floods across the country.
He shared that the destruction was huge and collective efforts were required to provide immediate relief, rescue and rehabilitation services at all levels.
Mr Kazmi said the PHF members required need assessment and damages details at the earliest so they could mobilise more resources and cater to the need of affected people at all levels.
He said the PHF member organisations were also in process of securing more resources to respond to the devastating situation caused by the flash floods in a better way, and around $3.2 million had been promised by internationals donors for rescue and rehabilitation activities.
The PHF members including the Qatar Charity, Islamic Relief, Muslim Aid, Muslim Hands, Human Appeal, Save the Children, IRC, CARE International, ACF, HHRD, Concern Worldwide, WHH, Mercy Corps, CESVI, WaterAid, Tearfund and ACTED were providing response in different sectors and catering to the need of flood-affected persons related to water and sanitation hygiene (WASH), food, health, shelter and non-food items.
Meanwhile, PHF Executive Committee chairperson Farhan Ahmed Khan said the forum members (INGOs) had global experience of managing emergencies and had trained human resource as well as contextual knowledge of working with local communities.
“We should be provided better access to flood-affected areas,” Mr Khan said, adding that there was a need for joint action plan between all international and national organisations with the government of Pakistan to help the people affected in various part of the country.
The Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF) is a representative body of 38 INGOs registered in Pakistan. The forum supports humanitarian aid delivery and long-term development initiatives in alignment with the development priorities of the Pakistani government.
Meanwhile, Balochistan government spokesperson Farah Azeem Shah held a meeting with the PHF and said the provincial government would provide security and facilitate humanitarian organisations to smoothly carry out response activities there.
She said there was a dire need of immediate response as the destruction was massive and people had been rendered without food, shelter and other essential services.
During the meeting, the INGOs representatives shared different challenges that they were facing related to access, insufficient information related to damages and details related to need assessment. The INGOs representative also requested for the NOC exemption to provide immediate humanitarian response.
Ms Shah assured the participants that she would take up the matter with Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjoand respond to the PHF members.
WaterAid also announced that it was helping thousands of families hit by the worst floods in Pakistan by handing out hygiene kits with soap, towels and jerrycans, disinfection of water resources and by setting up safely managed toilets.
The development organisation had initially allocated Rs30 million for initial emergency relief to over 40,000 people affected by the floods.
Heavy monsoon rains and floods had affected 30 million people in Pakistan since mid-June, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Over 900 people were killed by the devastating monsoon rains and floods, including 326 children, and at least 95,350 homes destroyed.
WaterAid has initiated the flood response with the help of its local partners in Badin (Sindh), Rajanpur (Punjab) and Swat (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) districts and would focus on disinfection of drinking water sources, provision of hygiene kits, construction of temporary toilets in schools/camps, clearance of flood water, awareness sessions on safe water, sanitation and personal hygiene.
It would also support specific needs of women and girls in the flood-affected areas, including provision of menstrual hygiene kits, and assist journalists in conducting investigative and responsible stories.
Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2022