IRC, Sister Agencies Warn Winter May Bring 'Second Disaster' to Quake-Ravaged Pakistan
The International Rescue Committee and five sister aid agencies assisting earthquake victims in Pakistan told donor governments today that although much progress has been made in the relief effort, more funding is needed to avoid a second disaster.
The onset of winter, they warned, is likely to result in a second wave of deaths. The first snows have already hit quake-devastated Kashmir and the North-West Frontier Province. The window for responding to the crisis is closing rapidly, they said, but major gaps in funding may leave thousands of families without adequate shelter and resources to survive the winter.
More help is needed to provide basic shelter for tens of thousands of people; support for traumatized children; improved water and sanitation; and medical care, particularly for survivors suffering from acute respiratory infections caused by exposure.
"We are going to see more lives lost unless the international community reacts now to fund life-saving activities and long-term recovery," said Alan Manski, the International Rescue Committee's emergency response coordinator. "The Pakistani people are losing the race against winter. We urge the international community not to leave them out in the cold."
The call for funding came just ahead of a conference of donor nations and international agencies scheduled to take place in Islamabad on Saturday [Press Release].