Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Floods in Pakistan

Suffice to say, the news in Pakistan is totally focused on the floods in the country. The latest I have heard is that 20 million people are homeless. At this stage, the death rate is just over 1,000 people but I am guessing that that will increase substantially as babies, children and the elderly die from dehydration, starvation and gastro-enteritis. Even though Karachi has not been affected by the floods, the flow-on effect will be felt as refugees make their way to Karachi.

I get the sense that international aid has been slow to make its way to Pakistan because of concerns that aid will be lost to corruption. I also think that Pakistan has an international profile that does not render sympathy. Nevertheless, it is heart-breaking to think of the vast number of people who have been left with absolutely nothing.

I have talked to Rafat about how assistance can be given to the mothers who are about to give birth in the next three months...a figure of about 100,000. But at the moment, there are only eight refugees in Karachi who are due to birth in the next wee while. And these women are extremely high risk because they are so anaemic. So the plans for a maternity facility for refugees in Karachi have been put on hold.

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