From drought to flood

Pakistanis still in urgent need of aid

By: Ashley Couillard

The death toll in Pakistan is already at 1,600 and is expected to raise some more due to the flood that is spreading from the North through the Southern part of the country.

Twenty million people have been affected by the flood that started to spread just a few weeks ago, putting one fifth of Pakistan under water. An estimated four million people are now homeless with no food or water struggling to survive while the threat of epidemics is growing. More than 3.5 million children are now at risk of getting waterborne diseases, skin diseases and respiratory problems.

Shortly before the rains started, Pakistan was going through a harsh and long drought which killed hundreds of people and animals mostly due to dehydration. Shortly after the recent dehydration, the northwestern part of Pakistan became flooded.

Families are being separated and rescuers have to make the emotional choices of which family members to leave behind. Their priorities are to rescue women and their children while leaving the men with the washed out houses. Some children are even torn from their parents’ arms and cry out in pain.

“Mom, I don’t want to leave without you,” one girl cried, reported CBS News correspondent Mandy Clark.  Her mother was allowed on-board, while her father was left behind.The United States has given 18 helicopters that go back and forth air rescuing some of the people but, to be able to advance in the rescue mission, the United Nations (UN) said they would need at least 40 more helicopters. The World Vision aid group said it could take more than three months before any family would be able to return to their home.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki- moon announced that $10 million from the central emergency response fund was added, bringing the fund up to $27 million. All of these donations are dedicated to aiding the victims of this flood.

“One aid worker said today that the floods are “the scale of the tsunami, the destruction of Haiti and the complexity of the Middle East.” Three weeks into this disaster the human tragedy is only growing,” reported Clark.

Villagers need all the aid and support they can get, and many need medical attention as well but don’t necessarily have the means to get what they need. More than 200 health facilities have been damaged due to the flood. People all over the world are giving donations in hopes of rescuing and giving rehabilitation to the Pakistanis.Recovery for this country could take a minimum of three years before anything is stable.

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