– IOM has dispatched 17,000 shelter and non-food item (NFI) relief kits to help families displaced by flooding following torrential monsoon rains in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh.
The aid, which includes plastic sheeting, ropes, blankets, kitchen sets and plastic sleeping mats from a multi-donor emergency stockpile, followed a request from Sindh’s Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA).
The kits will be distributed in the 12 worst-affected districts of Jamshoro, Mirpur Khas, Thatta, Tharparkar, Shaheed Benazirabad, Ghotki, Naushehro Feroze, Khairpur, Dadu, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allah Yar and Sanghar.
The move follows a distribution of 3,400 tents by UNHCR, IOM and HANDS that began yesterday in Badin district, which, according to local officials is 90 per cent flooded, with some 100,000 people displaced. IOM previously delivered 1,400 shelter kits to Badin, Mirpur Khas and Tando Muhammad Khan districts.
Pakistan’s monsoon rains, which followed the worst flooding in the country’s history in 2010, began a month ago and have to date affected some 5.3 million people, according to government estimates.
The Sindh PDMA estimates that more than 279,300 displaced people are now living at some relief sites, including public buildings and other temporary settlements.
Over a million homes have been destroyed or damaged, 4.2 million acres of agricultural land has been inundated and over 200 people have died, according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
Heavy rains resumed at the weekend and are forecast to continue through the next three days, affecting districts including Badin, Mirpur Khas, Tharparkar, Umar Kot, Thatta, Hyderabad, Shaheed Benazirabad, Dadu and Larkana, as well as Karachi and eastern parts of Balochistan.
IOM, at the request of the UN and the government, agreed last week to lead the IASC Emergency Shelter Cluster – the group of international aid agencies helping the government to provide emergency shelter to flood victims. IOM played the same role following the 2010 floods.
Between 10 -12 September IOM organized a rapid assessment of some 2,000 temporary settlement sites, including schools and other public buildings, by 250 teams to assess the number of displaced people and their immediate needs.
“The rains are showing no sign of abating and this disaster is still evolving. Hundreds of thousands of displaced people already need emergency shelter and, as in 2010, the inaccessibility of flooded areas is going to be our biggest challenge,” says IOM Hyderabad Head of Office Arshad Rashid, a former Emergency Shelter Cluster Coordinator.
“IOM is committed to supporting Pakistan in the face of another huge natural disaster at a time when people were still struggling to recover from last year’s floods. We will be doing everything we can to coordinate the work of our humanitarian partners to get shelter aid to the people who need it most,” says IOM’s Emergency and Post Crisis Regional Advisor for Asia and the Pacific Brian Kelly.