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World Vision Planning Intervention in Pakistan

Contact: Dana Palade, World Vision Pakistan office, Communications Manager, +92 300 854 1262,


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 3 /Standard Newswire/ -- World Vision is planning a relief intervention that will help alleviate the suffering of more than 1 million people affected by the cyclone Yemyin, which hit the southern province of Balochistan last week.


The decision is a prompt response to the request addressed today by the Pakistani Government to international donors, NGOs, and agencies, to contribute towards relief and rehabilitation efforts. "Our operations strategy is to work through implementing partners," explains Graham Strong, World Vision Pakistan National Director.


"We will coordinate with other international and local NGOs that had a presence in the affected area prior to the disaster. ""Based on continuing monitoring of the situation and needs, we will decide what the best course of action is," adds Mr. Strong.


Latest reports estimate that the number of people affected is anywhere between 1 and 2 million, in the 14 districts of Balochistan hit hardest by the cyclone. At least 300 people are confirmed dead or missing, and thousands of homes have been destroyed by the heavy rains, floods, and winds up to 130 kph.


Important elements of infrastructure, and power and water supplies have also been severed in Balochistan. The government is cautious in releasing final figures, as the complete scale of the loss and destruction is not yet fully known. The state of emergency was declared in the worst affected districts.


The federal government, through its National Disaster Management Authority, organised rescue missions, and set up camps for the evacuated population. Re-enacting its effective intervention during the October 2005 earthquake, the Army provided relief goods to 14 worst affected districts of Balochistan. The relief intervention in southern Pakistan, some 1,600 km away from World Vision's programme areas in the North West Frontier Province, can encounter major difficulties. Mr. Strong explains that Balochistan, which occupies 44 percent of Pakistan's total area, contains only five percent of its population.


"The access to scattered groups of populations is very difficult. We can count on the professionalism of our team, and the collaboration with our partners, but there are considerable logistic challenges," adds Mr. Strong.


The Pakistan Meteorological Department  issued a warning that a low pressure system is moving from India and is expected to reach Sindh and Balochistan in the next 24-36 hrs. This weather development is considered very dangerous, as more gusty winds and heavy rains will hit areas already damaged by the Yemyin Cyclone. Due to the cyclone, the areas of the North West Frontier Province where World Vision operates has been hit by heavy rains.


"Our operations in the NWFP have not yet been affected by these harsh weather conditions," says Graham Strong. "However, the forecast warns against possible landslides, which would slow down some of our field activities in Kaghan Valley, Siran Valleys, and Oghi.