PESHAWAR: Hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis will be spending this Ramazan in relief camps instead of their homes that they had to abandon to survive the country’s worst floods in living memory.
According to the World Food Programme, an estimated four million people face food shortages and the United Nations says that six million Pakistanis need ‘survival’ aid. The international community has pledged tens of millions of dollars – but much more will be needed to set Pakistan back on track. Citizens have remained just as active in collecting funds and relief goods. In unaffected areas, Pakistanis have even started organising their own relief campaigns.
“There isn’t enough food and at the onset of Ramazan, we really want to make sure that the flood survivors have enough to eat. They have no homes and all the supply routes have been disrupted so the first priority is to make sure that food is available to them,” volunteer Shoaib Khalil told The Express Tribune.
In Nowshera, the worst hit city of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, mobs of desperate people can be seen. For the citizens, the month of Ramazan, which challenges both spiritual and physical endurance makes its way, for locals it will be just one more test.
“I swear to God that other than this, I have not received anything else in the past ten days,” a survivor said, holding up two bags of wheat. “But still, I will give one bag to someone else and only take the other home.”
“We have nothing and it will remain this way during Ramazan too,” said another survivor. “Everybody here is very poor, most of our houses have been wiped out or damaged, and nobody comes here to give us any food,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2010.
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