Community partnership key to effective engagement in Pakistan

30/08/2010

Residents carry their belongings through a flooded road in Risalpur, located in Nowshera District, in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province
Residents carry their belongings through a flooded road in Risalpur, located in Nowshera District, in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province. Reuters/Andrees Latif courtesy http://www.alertnet.org/
As the Australian Government’s medical taskforce strengthens the response in Pakistan this week, Caritas Australia is urging Australians to give generously in support of the invaluable and ongoing community to community response to ensure much needed aid reaches those in greatest need.

“As the emergency worsens and international donor support trickles in we’re hearing that some aid may not be reaching flood victims in the spirit of compassion and impartiality we strive for - this is always a risk when need so dramatically outweighs our capacity to respond,” Caritas Australia Acting CEO Jamie Davies said.

Mr Davies said Pakistan has been overwhelmed by scale of this emergency and at times international organisations lack the trust of local communities.

“For this reason, the Caritas network always draws on longstanding local community partnerships in its emergency responses,” Mr Davies said. “The international Caritas network has supported long-term development projects in Pakistan for many years, fostering strong relationships with communities through our local partner organisation Catholic Relief Services.

“We worked together successfully on the 2005 Pakistan Earthquake response and despite the complex nature of this month’s unprecedented disaster we have been able to provide immediate relief to those who need it most,” Mr Davies said.

“Today in Pakistan we’re working through our trusted local partners in the KPK and Balochistan regions to deliver a culturally appropriate aid package responsive to the unique needs of the Pakistan’s most vulnerable and remote communities.

“Our work calls us to uphold and enhance human dignity, ensuring that people who need help receive it regardless of their religion, ethnicity, culture or gender. Caritas Australia works with those who are most vulnerable.”

Mr Davies said as the situation worsens in Sindh, the dire reality of this emergency is becoming clearer, with water borne diseases and health problems like dehydration, cholera and malnutrition impacting on vulnerable people who have already suffered immense shock and loss. To date Caritas Australia’s local partners have distributed shelter and hygiene kits to almost 4000 households in KPK and Balochistan provinces. Distributions are ongoing, spreading to different areas and are accompanied by hygiene training sessions.

“As images and stories from the emergency continue to reach our news bulletins in Australia, the support for Caritas Australia’s South Asian Floods Appeal has picked up. We’re encouraged by Australia’s compassion, but very aware of the real and great needs that are going unattended,” Mr Davies said.

“The support that communities receive in these early stages of the emergency response will of course play a role in shaping the nation’s social and political dynamic as communities rebuild in the months and years ahead.

“The public can be confident in the knowledge that money donated to the Caritas Australia South Asia Floods Appeal – Pakistan will go directly to vulnerable communities through our local partners in Pakistan.”

You can help

Cartias Australia is accepting donations to assist the victims of the floods - donate online to the South Asia Floods Appeal - Pakistan or call the donation hotline 1800 024 413.

Related Pakistan Flood Appeal Pages:

Caritas Australia Appeal

Catholic Mission Appeal

Jesuit Mission Appeal


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