Pakistan: Lack of funding threatens live-saving aid to 1.3 million people
Islamabad/Cologne. Nearly a year since more than three million people had to flee from the military operations in the northwest of Pakistan, Malteser International, the relief service of the Order of Malta for worldwide humanitarian aid, together with the “Pakistan Humanitarian Forum” points out that the crisis is far from over.
The lack of international funding threatens the relief activities for more than 1.3 million people that are displaced at present and dependant on emergency relief to survive. Organisations such as Oxfam or Merlin are forced to close down their projects in May if the situation does not change. Since May 2009 Malteser International has been supporting approximately 100,000 people in the northwest of Pakistan with basic health care and hygiene products. They had had to flee from the fighting in the Swat District and meanwhile have returned home. "The three Malteser International teams consisting of medical doctors, midwifes and medical assistants attend to more than 300 patients every day,“ reports Dr. Jürgen Clemens, Senior Desk Officer Pakistan of Malteser International, upon his visit to Pakistan in February. „The women and children particularly suffer from diarrhoea and acute respiratory diseases.“ In addition, there have been new cases of polio and measles so that Malteser International also implements vaccination campaigns. The current relief activities of Malteser International are mainly funded by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany. “We are in urgent need of further funding for essential projects in the health sector,” Clemens continues. “It is utterly alarming that the UN call on financial support of the relief programmes for IPDs (internally displaced persons) has not got the necessary attention so far.” Since October 2005 Malteser International has been implementing projects in Pakistan in the fields of emergency and disaster aid, reconstruction and disaster preparedness. The „Pakistan Humanitarian Forum“ was founded in 2003 to coordinate and strengthen the efforts of international non-governmental organisations (NGO) working in disaster management. The forum comprises 35 of the largest international NGOs operating in Pakistan, among others also Malteser International. – Further information: www.pakhumanitarianforum.com.pk Attention editors: Dr. Jürgen Clemens is available for interviews (Contact: +49 221/9822-155) 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