Hundreds of thousands of civilians in Pakistan are enduring extreme suffering and hardship due to ongoing hostilities in the country.
More than 2 million people have fled their homes, making this the largest and fastest growing displacement the country has seen in 15 years. Those left behind lack access to food, water and sanitation, and health services.
Red Cross Red Crescent response:
The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are continuing to bring aid, including food and medical supplies, to those affected and in desperate need. Where access allows, they are also meeting the humanitarian needs of those who remain in the conflict zone.
The PRCS is running camps for internally displaced people (IDPs), ensuring those who have found refuge there will be able to live in dignified conditions. The camps are equipped with latrines, showers, water fountains and basic health units.
The ICRC's surgical hospital for people with weapon wounds in Peshawar, established less than a month ago, has admitted scores of patients from the Swat district since recent hostilities escalated and is now operating at full capacity.
Canadian Red Cross response:
The Canadian Red Cross has been working in Pakistan since 2005 following a devastating earthquake that impacted millions. Today, the Canadian Red Cross is escalating up its activities to respond to this humanitarian crisis. In addition to deploying a mobile health team to provide support for those injured during the conflict or while fleeing, the Canadian Red Cross is also contributing relief items including, hygiene kits, pedestal fans and supplying waste management kits.
In addition, the Canadian Red Cross is supporting the work of the PRCS in the management of IDP camps.
How Canadians Can Help
Canadians wishing to make a financial donation may give online at www.redcross.ca, 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 “Pakistan Conflict” and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.