Pakistan – long term needs
Short term or long term support – that is the question in many disasters.
The flooding in Pakistan is terrible. We know that almost 2,000 people are now feared dead. More are injured. Crops are ruined. Lives are destroyed for a long time – forever for some. We also know that every disaster – whether earthquakes in Haiti or floods in Pakistan – have even a worse affect on the most vulnerable. These are children, the elderly, and those with disabilities. Many people with disabilities are especially vulnerable to disease and illness. These people need, at the best of times, constant medical monitoring. In Pakistan, with the huge emergency needs, medical attention is naturally diverted, leaving these people with disabilities even more vulnerable.
Hope and Healing has a great partner in Pakistan – CHEF – who is setting up emergency medical tents in the most affected flooded areas. These medical services are already reaching over 20,000 people. That number will grow. CHEF has been a cbm partner for over 30 years and has a presence in all the affected areas. This has allowed them to respond immediately to the flooding.
In a blog I can be more candid with you.
The reason CHEF is able to be such a great responder to this emergency is because of the support by cbm and people like you through cbm in the non emergency times. It was during the non-flooding times when CHEF was able to build its infrastructure, establish the clinics, gain support of the population, and understand the needs of all people especially those with disabilities. Now, when the emergency hits, CHEF is positioned to provide on the ground support immediately. Many of its staff are from these areas, living in the communities. CHEF has responded to other emergencies – like earthquakes – because of this support over the years.
I am worried that after the flooding CHEF has the needed resources to respond to the extra needs that will result from this flooding. Not only will they have to respond to the needs of people with disabilities before the flooding – their “normal” work that kept them very busy – they now will have a whole new set of diseases to deal with – a whole new set of medical issues. Failure to deal with these will result in a new set of people with permanent disabilities. We know that prevention is the best cure – and the race for CHEF to prevent future disabilities has already begun!
Waterborne diseases, crowded conditions, unsanitary conditions cause diseases like trachoma and others.
CHEF is active right now in the emergency. CHEF has been in Pakistan for 30 years. CHEF will be there after the waters subside, the world forgets, but the needs skyrocket. That is why Hope and Healing is appealing for funds for CHEF – not only now but for the long term. We want to ensure long term health care – when much of the world has forgotten.