Pakistan is under water. An exceptional monsoon has brought a level of rainfall not seen for more than ten years and is affecting the whole country. Helvetas is on the ground providing emergency assistance.
More than 1,300 people have already died as a result of the floods, and hundreds of thousands of livestock have drowned. One and a half million houses have been damaged and two million hectares of agricultural land have been flooded. Helvetas, the Swiss development cooperation and humanitarian aid organization, that has been present in Pakistan for forty years, is responding to people's most urgent needs.
We are distributing food, hygiene kits, blankets and warm clothes to the most vulnerable people. Helvetas is also setting up small water purification plants, and has hired an airborne medical team to travel to hard-to-reach areas.
"In addition to this emergency aid, we must prepare for the future and make sure that the agricultural season is not lost. September is the sowing season," says Christian Gemperli, head of humanitarian aid at Helvetas. "We are therefore preparing to distribute seeds, agricultural inputs, agricultural equipment and to vaccinate animals."
As winter approaches in the north of the country, time is running out for the people of Pakistan, who will have to cope with the cold and save their crops for next year.