Many earthquake survivors in Pakistan still at risk one year later
Canadians urged to donate generously
Ottawa, ON – October 3, 2006 - Tens of thousands of people are facing a difficult second winter following the devastating 2005 earthquake that killed more than 73,000 people and made over 3.5 million homeless in northern Pakistan last October 8. Recent landslides and flooding have further worsened the situation for many quake survivors.
In response, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have made shelter plans for 13,500 families across the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement stands ready to provide over 8,300 tents, 135,000 sheets of corrugated galvanized iron (CGI), 13,500 shelter repair kits and 27,000 tarpaulins to quake survivors, to help ensure earthquake survivors are properly cared for this coming winter.
“The Red Cross and Red Crescent, along with other aid agencies and the government of Pakistan, has been working to identify gaps and ensure that vulnerable communities make it through the winter,” says Canadian Red Cross delegate Ted Itani, the former head of the IFRC delegation in Pakistan.
Since the disaster struck, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has provided assistance to 1.1 million people through medical support and the distribution of more than 70,000 tents, 220,000 CGI sheets, 132,000 tarpaulins, and 22,000 shelter repair kits.
Recovery activities for one million people are being supported until the end of 2008, including the reconstruction of education, medical and community centres, irrigation systems, psychosocial support, water and sanitation facilities, skills training, and the distribution of seeds and farming tools.
The Canadian Red Cross is operating a health project in Pakistan to provide basic health services to the local communities through mobile health units, providing medical supplies and equipment, and training.
The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement response has been possible through the donations of people around the world, including more than $22 million generously donated by Canadians.
Despite all that has been and continues to be done, there still remain outstanding recovery needs requiring more than $80 million in funding for long term rebuilding.
“Compared to emergency relief operations, recovery is significantly more complex and challenging,” says Khalid Kibriya, Secretary General of the Red Crescent in Pakistan. “It is vital that this phase be completed in order to build on the good work that’s already been done and ensure that vulnerable communities become more resilient to disasters in the future.”
Canadians wishing to make a financial donation may donate immediately online, call 1-800-418-1111 or contact their local Canadian Red Cross office. The 24-hour toll free line accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked “South Asia Earthquake” and mailed to Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2. Donations of goods are not accepted.
The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 185 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The Canadian Red Cross mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.
For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:
Canadian Red Cross Media Line: (613) 740- 1994