Malteser International: 19 August – World Humanitarian Day Flood relief in Pakistan shows challenges
To mark the World Humanitarian Day on 19 August, Malteser International points to the basic principles of humanitarian assistance: impartiality, independence and neutrality. The implementation of these principals is often a challenge - the current relief activities in Pakistan are a good example for that. “Important for the provision of assistance are independent and reliable partners in the country itself, international and local staff members and approved monitoring systems," says Sid Peruvemba, programme director of Malteser International, the worldwide relief service of the Order of Malta for humanitarian aid.
Alexander Buehler from the German relief service of the Order of Malta reports from the Swat valley: “The severe malnutrition, in particular of children, increases with every day. The upper regions of the valley are still completely cut off from the rest of the country; there are not enough helicopters that could reach the people.” The medical teams of Malteser International report an increasing number of diarrhoea and skin diseases especially among children and women. “Infections are caused mainly by contaminated water,” explains Buehler. In addition to medical assistance, Malteser International provides non-food-items such as bowls, jars, soap and towels to the affected population in order to improve the hygienic situation and prevent further diseases. Overall Malteser International is involved with a project volume of more than one million euros in the emergency relief as well as reconstruction in Pakistan. With financial support of the German Foreign Office Malteser International teams are able to provide people that are affected by the flood with medical care. For three month the teams will treat patients in three health stations and through mobile clinics in the Swat valley. The WHO supports these activities among others with “Mini Emergency Health Kits”. For all these relief efforts, Malteser International can account for the needs-based and efficient use of donated money. We are audited by independent auditors in Germany and in Pakistan and must additionally prove in detail to our donors how we used their money. Attention editors: Alexander Bühler is available for interviews as well as Dr. Juergen Clemens, Senior Desk Officer Pakistan of Malteser International, contact: +49 221/9822-155 Pictures from the activities are available at the Malteser International website http://php.malteser.de/cpg133/thumbnails.php?album=277 Malteser International is the worldwide relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta for humanitarian aid. The organisation provides aid in about 200 projects in more than 20 countries without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles of impartiality and independence are the foundation of its work. For further information: www.malteser-international.org and www.orderofmalta.org