BADIN -- Mir Zadi, with her husband and eight other family members, is seeking shelter in one of the camps set up by the government. They traveled all the way from Chuto Kambrani village, wading through waist high water, bare feet, carrying nothing but the clothes on their bodies, sheltering each other from the lashing rains with their bare hands and soaked shirts.
Mir Zadi and her family are among the over 5.3 million people who have been inundated by the relentless torrential rains. The deadly waters have swallowed their lives and livelihood and they have nothing left. Even a glance around can reveal that all crops – cotton, sugar cane, rice and vegetables – have been completely destroyed. Homes have been taken over by alarmingly high levels of water. All possessions have been washed away. They are completely dependent on food rations being provided by WFP.
The first convoy of trucks carrying food from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) arrived in Badin district on Sunday for distribution to thousands of households hit by flooding across Pakistan’s southern Sindh province. Initial distributions plans will see 500,000 of the worst affected people receive a one-month food ration containing seven commodities. Distributions started on Monday with 600 families receiving food on the first day alone.
WFP has been a welcomed sight for these disaster-hit people who are living the worst nightmare of their lives. “I am grateful that WFP has provided food rations for one month. It gives us security and now I can start thinking about other things and not worrying about food for my family,” said Mir Zadi’s husband Suleman.
“The situation on ground is indeed dire, the food need is a matter of life and death,” said WFP Pakistan Acting Country Director Dominique Frankefort, who traveled to Badin to personally oversee the delivery of food to the people. “We are using every grain available to us, but we will need more and quickly. I am hopeful that donors will respond as they always have and we will be able to provide food for the thousands of hungry people struggling to survive.
The Sindh Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMA) requested WFP Pakistan to provide immediate response for food needs of the most disaster ridden districts of Badin, Mirpurkhas and Nawab Shah. WFP will be using existing stocks to feed around half a million people for one month: 20,000 each will be provided to families in Badin and Mirpurkhas, while 10,000 families will be targeted in Nawabshah. In the meantime, WFP will be working to raise funds for additional support that will become clear after the results of the ongoing assessment.
The joint NDMA, WFP and OCHA rapid needs assessment is underway covering about 8000 villages in 22 districts in Sindh. The results will help assess and accordingly plan for the identified needs of the affected people.
Families like Mir Zadi’s will need to be supported till they are able to regain control of their lives. WFP is working hard to scale up its efforts to ensure that it reaches the most vulnerable and hungry in the flood affected areas. Along with the Humanitarian Community, WFP hopes to feed every hungry child, mother and father.