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Pakistan Flood Relief Efforts

We at the Center of South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies are deeply concerned about the recent devastation in Pakistan caused by the worst floods in living memory and extend our strong sympathy and support for the hapless victims. To date the catastrophic floods have displaced a staggering twenty million people, including six million children, and left a fifth of the country underwater. Some 1600 deaths have been reported and the toll is expected to rise with the spread of water borne diseases. There has been incalculable damage to private properties, public infrastructure, and 4.25 million acres of agricultural land in all four provinces of Pakistan. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has issued an urgent appeal for help, noting the looming dangers of disease and death unless the victims are provided food aid, shelter and medicines.

Torrential rains in late July and August have also caused destruction and deaths in the Ladakh region of neighboring Kashmir. But the sheer magnitude of the devastation in Pakistan has dwarfed other recent natural disasters, including the Asian tsunami of 2004 and the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir and adjoining areas. The millions who have been displaced were already living below the poverty line and whatever little possessions and assets they had have been swept away, and their crops destroyed by the flood. The public infrastructure - including access roads and bridges - has either collapsed or been badly damaged. There is a desperate need for temporary shelter, clean drinking water, and toilets to avert a public health catastrophe. People also need basic goods and essential medical care.

We urge all of you to step forward to help in any way you can. There are many organizations that are doing commendable humanitarian work in Pakistan right now. To help direct those of you who would like to assist, below is a list of a few organizations that you could consider supporting in their Pakistan flood relief efforts: