Islamabad. The floods in Pakistan have left a devastating toll: nearly 1,700 people have died, more than two million homes have been destroyed and more than 20 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN. In addition, much of the vital infrastructure, such as roads, sanitation and health facilities, has been destroyed, particularly in Sindh province. Drinking water has been contaminated. "We are witnessing the next humanitarian catastrophe. People are drinking contaminated water and getting diarrheal diseases. Mosquitoes are nesting in the water residue and more and more people are getting infected with malaria and dengue fever. At the same time, there is hardly any way for them to get to the hospitals, as either the access roads or the facilities have been destroyed by the masses of water," says Cordula Wasser, Head of the Asia Department of Malteser International.
In the province of Sindh, Malteser International supports two mobile medical teams of a local partner in order to be able to treat sick people on site. The medical treatments are free of charge. "Sick people no longer have to make a tedious and long journey to distant health facilities. Currently, it is mainly children and pregnant women who come to our tents," says Wasser.
In addition to medical care, Malteser International also distributes cash to families in need. "Many people do not know how to feed themselves and their families. We were told by a 48-year-old woman that she had lost everything. Her house, her job, her food supplies. The harvest was destroyed by the floods. It is now crucial that people receive cash so that they do not starve. But we urgently need support in our aid to the people of Pakistan. No one can cope alone with a disaster that affects 33 million people," says Wasser.
Cordula Wasser, Head of the Asia Department of Malteser International, is available for interviews and sound bites.
Operator: +49 (0)221 98227 181, katharina.kiecol(at)malteser-international.org