MULTAN – As floodwaters cascaded across Pakistan’s breadbasket in Punjab province, thousands of farmers have lost their homes, crops and livestock. Some 17 million acres were submerged by the flooding and over 200,000 animals killed.
Moreed, 29, and his family of five are among thousands of Punjabis facing an uncertain future as they wait for the waters to recede. They’ve been camped out in a makeshift tent on the side of a dirt road for the last two weeks, and say they don’t know when they’ll be able to go home.
"At least we have something to eat," said Moreed, whose family are among over 360,00 people in the area who recently received a month's ration of oil, wheat flour and high-energy biscuits. At a food distribution point not far off, helicopters have also flown in sachets of supplementary plumpy, a fortified peanut paste specialized designed to meet the nutritional needs of small children.
Helicopters have played a vital role in providing food assistance in the area around Multan, though more are needed to reach the over 800,000 people around the country currently cut off by road.