Caritas briefing on climate change announcement at the G8

by Caritas Internationalis | Caritas Internationalis
Thursday, 9 July 2009 12:00 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Caritas has launched a three-month emergency programme to help families following severe flooding in Pakistan. The programme will cost US${esc.dollar}1.4 million (â&${esc.hash}130;¬1.1 million). Heavy rains in August and September hit the provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan and have left hundreds of dead and tens of thousands of people homeless. Caritas in Pakistan will provide tents, blankets, food and medical assistance for the next three months to many people who are in difficulty. "People are facing many challenges following the floods," says Amjad Gulzar, executive secretary of Caritas Pakistan. "Stagnant and contaminated water, lack of food and hygiene facilities all present serious risks to those living in temporary conditions and make people vulnerable to gastroenteritis, malaria and skin problems as well as other illnesses." Six thousand families will be given tents by Caritas Pakistan until they can find more permanent accommodation. Nine thousand five hundred families will receive food and hygiene kits. People can receive free healthcare in one of 80 medical camps that will be set up to offer diagnoses and treatment. The food supply in the flood-affected areas is uncertain as some supply routes are blocked and food stores may be contaminated due to water logging and damp. The floods also damaged infrastructure and washed away 1.1 million acres of crops and over 8,000 head of cattle. Contact Michelle Hough, Communications Officer, at +39 334 234 4136 or hough@caritas.va.