MSF starts assistance for flood victims in Pakistan
15 August 2003
Recent flash floods and landslides at the end of July have devastated parts of the Sindh and Balochistan provinces in Pakistan. The rains fell during the monsoon season that ends in September. More rains are expected. MSF recently visted some of the hardest hit areas that were most affected: Badin District and the neighboring districts of Tharparkar and Thatta, in the far southeast of the country. Several tens of thousands of people are still displaced, struggling to access basic requirements such as food, shelter, medical care, clothing and clean water, despite relief efforts by local NGOs and governmental agencies. In response to the unmet medical needs MSF has decided to provide basic medical care to populations in the area with mobile clinics for a limited period. "With a cyclone in 1999, an earthquake in 2001 and a five-year drought brought abruptly to an end with the recent floods, these people are being dealt one hard blow after another. †Their coping mechanisms are critically low and additional assistance is essential, especially in relation to basic needs such as food, shelter and the provision of clean water", reports Ronald Farnon for MSF in Quetta. News sites estimate that 200 people have been killed in the floods. Thousands of homes have been washed away.