Founding Editor: Shafqat Munir   

Relief supplies diverted from Punjab to Sindh 

30 September 2011 07:34:54

Relief supplies diverted from Punjab to Sindh

IOM has diverted 7,000 emergency shelter and non-food relief item (NFI) kits from a contingency stockpile in Punjab to meet huge demand for emergency shelter in Pakistan’s flood-stricken Sindh province.


The kits, each of which contains two plastic tarpaulins, ropes, two blankets, a kitchen set, a bucket and a jerry can, will complement 2,000 kits still stockpiled in Sindh and will be distributed by IOM and shelter cluster partner agencies in districts prioritized by the Sindh Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA.)


These include Umerkot (2,000), Tharparkar (1,000), Tando Mohammed Khan (1,000), Tando Allah Yar (1,000), Mirpurkhas (1,000), Sanghar (2,000) Shaheed Benazir Abad (1,000).


IOM has already distributed some 17,000 shelter kits to flood victims in Sindh.


“We have local NGO partners willing and able to distribute these kits to flood victims who desperately need our help. Distributing these contingency stocks without guaranteed donor funding to replace them is a high risk strategy, but it is a risk that we have to take,” says IOM Hyderabad Head of Office Arshad Rashid.


On September 18th IOM appealed to international donors for US$14.6 million to procure and distribute emergency shelter and non-food relief items to help over 550,000 vulnerable flood victims over the next three months.


The money will go towards providing shelter and non-food relief items, meeting the needs of displaced people in temporary settlements and relief camps, tracking displacement, building local capacity and coordinating the work of the Emergency Shelter Cluster.


Last week IOM, working closely with a local NGO FIF, which provided a boat, delivered shelter and NFI kits to families stranded on mud banks in a sea of flood water in Badin district’s Tando Bago sub-district.


The community, located about a mile from the town of Judho, had been cut off from the town for nearly a month. Their submerged mud houses had been completely destroyed and their only surviving possessions were wooden charpoy string beds and a few quilts and rice sacks that they had floated to safety and used to build makeshift shelters.


A village elder told IOM that the only aid they had received had been a delivery of rice by navy personnel in a zodiac inflatable.


Many people were sick from drinking dirty water or were suffering from malaria and all the crops in the area, including cotton, rice, tomatoes, onions and chilli had been destroyed by the floods, he added.


“Unless the water recedes by next month, which seems very unlikely, they also won’t be able to plant their wheat crop – which means they will lose another food staple,” says IOM Operations Officer Sher Sultan, who led the distribution.


Based on government and independent assessments, the UN believes that nearly 5.5 million people have been affected by the floods in Sindh. As many as 1.8 million have been displaced and are living in government relief camps, on roadsides or on higher ground near their submerged homes.