Saturday, October 08, 2005

Church World Service update: Pakistan/Afghanistan/India Earthquake

SITUATION: A powerful earthquake today near the Pakistan-India border has reportedly killed more than 3,000 persons. Among those killed were 250 girls in northwestern Pakistan who perished when their school collapsed, the Associated Press (AP) news service reported.

About a third of the total fatalities were reported in Pakistan; also badly affected was the contested region of Kashmir. The quake destroyed numerous villages where mud buildings are common; the quake also caused numerous mudslides, the AP reported.

RESPONSE: Church World Service Pakistan/Afghanistan has already begun distribution of relief assistance and is conducting assessments; CWS staff in the Pakistan capital of Islamabad are all accounted for.

Specifically: CWS Pakistan/Afghanistan is moving 600 shelter kits and family food packages to Murree today for initial relief distribution efforts. The CWS Pakistan/Afghanistan offices in Karachi, Islamabad, Mansehra and Murree are organizing relief efforts and strategizing to address the needs on the ground.

Three assessment teams are currently assessing needs and determining what a longer-term CWS response might be. Long-term response may focus around Mansehra and Murree, communities north of Islamabad where CWS has programs, as well as good community connections.

Initial relief plans also call for assisting 950 families by providing emergency food packages (including wheat flour, rice, pulses, cooking oil, sugar, tea leaves, salt and match boxes) in the most affected and remote areas of Northwest Frontier Province, near the border with Afghanistan, and in Azad Kashmir.

Long-term response may include assisting 10,000 affected families with food and non-food items. In addition to emergency relief, the response may include shelter construction materials.
In addition, parts of Afghanistan are also affected and CWS staff there will also be conducting an assessment in affected regions of that country.

Source: ChurchWorldService
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