Relief Agencies in 'Race against Time': Disaster Looms in Earthquake Region Unless Help Arrives

By Sison, Marites N. | Anglican Journal, December 2005 | Go to article overview

Relief Agencies in 'Race against Time': Disaster Looms in Earthquake Region Unless Help Arrives


Sison, Marites N., Anglican Journal


Funds are still urgently needed to assist hundreds of thousands of survivors of the massive earthquake that hit villages in the border area between India and Pakistan, with relief agencies warning that a "second humanitarian disaster" looms unless help arrives before winter.

Church World Service (CWS), an alliance member of Action by Churches Together (of which the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund--the relief arm of the Anglican Church of Canada--is also a member) is conducting relief operations on the ground and said it is in a "race against time."

The 7.6-magnitude quake last Oct. 8 killed an estimated 80,000 people and left more than three million homeless, said Pakistan's Federal Relief Commission.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, in a report last Oct. 28, said a steady stream of injured victims continues to arrive at medical facilities. "Infected fractures are the most frequent problem and medics are fighting to save limbs and lives," said the Red Cross.

"The world's failure to come up with immediate funds to assist hundred of thousands of Pakistani quake survivors before winter sets in left relief officials on the ground baffled and upset," the CWS office in Pakistan/Afghanistan said in its report to ACT.

But it added that "a major concern all organizations involved in the relief efforts face is the government's ban on the supply of tents to anyone but the government itself ... as all (those) involved in the relief operations have commitments to the communities and would like to ensure that shelter reaches those who are most in need in the remotest parts of the affected areas."

The Red Cross said that relief operations are carried out largely by helicopters, and weather conditions have been a major concern. …

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