11 June 2009
World Vision and other international aid agencies are calling on the international community to increase funding support for the humanitarian crisis in Pakistan, where some 2.5 million people have been affected by fighting in the Swat Valley. The mass displacement is the largest internal displacement of people in the country’s history.
World Vision is planning to assist 300,000 displaced people taking refuge in host communities in Buner, Swabi and Mardan districts but requires urgent funds in order to continue a humanitarian response.
World Vision’s Deputy Chief Executive, Paul Ronalds, said there was an urgent need for more funding for Pakistan from individuals, corporations, wealthy governments and others organisations around the world.
“We need the international community to step up on this. The Australian Government has generously committed $12 million to helping those affected by this crisis, but there is still a massive funding shortfall,” Mr Ronalds said.
World Vision’s assessment of the crisis found people are in great need of improved health services, hygiene, education, water, shelter and sanitation facilities.
World Vision has so far provided 3,500 people with health kits, mattresses and essential household items and is working with the United Nations World Food Program on plans to provide 195,000 people in Mardan district with food until December.
“The only reason we haven’t faced a massive humanitarian meltdown is the generosity of families and communities of modest means who’ve looked after the vast majority of those who’ve fled the fighting, and put them up in their houses and communities,” Mr Ronalds said.
“With so many mouths to feed, these communities are stretched to the limit. The world’s richest nations need to dig much deeper into their pockets to help.”