Pakistan has been hit by one of the worst natural disasters in its history as massive floods inundated large parts of its territory. Like many international organizations, the Heinrich Böll Stiftung’s regional office in Pakistan along with its partner local organizations immediately responded to the challenge to help Pakistanis cope up with the disastrous humanitarian situation caused by floods. Our organization has responded in two phases, supported by the German Ministry of Development Cooperation.
Pakistan has been hit by one of the worst natural disasters in its history as massive floods inundated large parts of its territory. Beginning in late July in the northern region of Pakistan, the flood waters swept into all four provinces of the country resulting in an estimated 1,600 people losing their lives and a staggering 20 million people affected. Reports put the area of land affected by the floods as over one-fifth of Pakistan’s territory. Comparisons have been drawn with recent natural disasters such as the 2004 Tsunami, which affected five million people, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, which affected three million people and the Haitian earthquake, which affected three million. The number of people affected by the Pakistan floods exceeds the total number affected by all three of these disasters put together.
The World Bank and Asian Development Bank have estimated that the flooding has caused $9.7 billion in damages. While this figure might still be preliminary, it is almost certain that the negative effects of this crisis will be felt for many years to come. Beyond the human suffering and loss of lives, the floods have inflicted tremendous damage to property and infrastructure, including roads, railway lines, communication links and energy supply lines. Power plants and some gas fields have had to be closed down, leaving millions without power. In addition to the physical damage, Pakistan will have to cope with a body blow to its economy and deal with a brewing political crisis as the current government is trying to continue delivering aid and help the flood victims in post flood situation.
RESPONSE OF HEINRICH BÖLL STIFTUNG
Like many international organizations, the Heinrich Böll Stiftung’s regional office in Pakistan along with its partner local organizations immediately responded to the challenge to help Pakistanis cope up with the disastrous humanitarian situation caused by floods. Our organization has responded in two phases, supported by the German Ministry of Development Cooperation.
In both the phases special emphasis was to support the most vulnerable sections of society that includes women children old aged people and also the minorities groups, which somehow have been neglected by many other organizations.
- a. Immediate Flood Emergency Response (Phase I )
- b. Later Relief Efforts (Phase II)
a. Immediate relief Efforts after Floods - Phase I (July-September 2010):
In the initial phase of immediate relief efforts after floods, The Heinrich Böll Stiftung along with its partner organizations Takhleeq Foundation Karachi based and Noor Education Trust, Peshawar based provided vital support to the affected people in Khyber PukhtoonKhwa and Interior Sindh. A brief description of the activities conducted by both of these organizations is as follows:
The Takhleeq Foundation with the help of Heinrich Böll Stiftung provided Food and non food items along with necessary health hygiene kits to the flood affected families of three affected areas in Sindh within the District of Shikarpur and six badly hit areas of the district of Qamber-Shahdatkot.
NOOR EDUCATION TRUST, PESHAWAR:
The Noor Education Trust Pakistan was supported by the HBS in relief work in the districts of Nowshehra in the province of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa. During this process 1200 vulnerable families in the respective district received food rations, 1000 women were provided with personal hygiene kits and women from 1000 families were supplied with basic utensils to feed their families with cooked meals.
b. Post Flood Rehabilitation Efforts of flood victims - Phase II (September-December 2010):
The Heinrich Böll Foundation has continued to support the flood victims in the post flood rehabilitation and support activities for the help of affected people. In this regard, our organization partnered with South Asia Partnership-Pakistan and Bargad to continue relief efforts.
SOUTH ASIA PARTNERSHIP-PAKISTAN:
The South Asian Partnership Pakistan was supported by the HBS in relief work in the districts of Muzzafargarh (Punjab), Jaffarabad (Balochistan) and Swat (Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa). During this joint effort, flood affected people in the mentioned districts were provided with warm clothing helping more than 600 families (200 families in each district). It was also ensured that target families are linked with other support channels for food, shelter, medicines and basic items for livelihood.
BARGAD – ORGANIZATION FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT:
Heinrich Böll Stiftung joined hands with Bargad –Organization for Youth Development supporting the post flood relief work. During this process, Bargad who engaged a number of youth organizations and volunteers provided 600 relief packages containing mattresses, pillow, bed sheets and blankets to 600 families of the Districts of Dera Ismail Khan (D.I. Khan), Lyyah and Rajanpur (South Punjab). Vital help was extended by the Gomal University administration in D.I.Khan and respective youth organizations in Lyyah and Rajanpur for the successful completion of the effort.