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The Threat of Cholera and More Flooding Intensify Pakistan Crisis

  • August 17, 2010

Pakistan’s first reported cholera cases and continued heavy rains add another degree of urgency to a massive humanitarian crisis in the country’s worst flooding since 1929.

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, has described the flood disaster as the worst he has ever witnessed.   

In response, AmeriCares has mounted disaster relief efforts including supplying medicines and medical treatments to help flood survivors at risk of deadly cholera. Sick and injured people affected by the floods are rapidly depleting existing stocks of medication, wound care supplies and hygiene items. AmeriCares first aid delivery has been distributed to local partners and additional relief shipments are being prepared.  

“An estimated three million children in the region are especially vulnerable to waterborne diseases such as cholera and diarrhea,” said Christoph Gorder, AmeriCares senior vice president of global programs.  “With the threat of disease outbreak increasing in the coming days, we are ramping up our planned deliveries of crucial supplies of antibiotics and IV supplies to meet a crisis that is reaching epic proportions.”   

Heavy monsoon rains in the northwestern region of Pakistan have claimed over 1,600 lives, driving millions from their homes. Continued rains hamper access to Pakistan’s northwest region, leaving entire villages cut off many from relief efforts.  Crops have been destroyed and one-quarter of the land area of Pakistan has been affected, some of it vital farmland.  And with more rain on the way, officials fear that the flooding could extend into the more populated provinces of Sindh and Punjab over the coming days. 

AmeriCares emergency relief experts are working with local partners to deliver assistance to flood-affected communities. Since 1990, AmeriCares has delivered nearly $57 million in assistance to Pakistan including relief supplies ranging from medicines, medical supplies, equipment, health care facilities and nutritional support.

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