As the worst natural disaster in living memory continues to unfold in Pakistan, a chartered airliner carrying 100 metric tonnes of UNICEF emergency relief arrived in the southern port city of Karachi early today. The shipment includes health kits, nutrition supplies, midwifery kits and tarpaulins for families affected by weeks of monsoon rains and flooding around the country.
Some of these supplies will be dispatched to the worst affected areas of Sindh Province in southern Pakistan, while the rest will be moved to other parts of the county – all with an emphasis on reaching women and children in dire need.
“UNICEF’s main supply warehouse in Copenhagen has sent these items to support our ongoing relief activities in the flood-affected areas,” said the head of the UNICEF Field Office in Sindh, Andro Shilakadze.
“This is the first major shipment of emergency supplies and we expect more to arrive in the coming days,” added Mr. Shilakadze. “Since our pre-positioned supplies in one of the major warehouses were washed out by floods, supplies received today were urgently needed.”
As the water finally recedes, we're beginning to get better information from UNICEF field staff. Entire villages have been decimated. Livestock corpses litter the countryside, rotting.
Pakistan's terrain means countless children now languish in remote locations. No food. No shelter. Many newly orphaned.
UNICEF has mobilized all available resources to respond and:
- Set up shelters for orphaned children separated from their families;
- Provide millions of gallons of clean water and water purification tablets;
- Vaccinate children and pregnant women against disease; and
- Distribute hygiene kits and soap.