Rushing Relief Assistance to Victims of South Asian Quake
In response to the devastating earthquake in South Asia, the international aid organization Action Against Hunger (known internationally as Action contre la Faim, or ACF) will fly in 30 tons of food aid and water provision supplies this week and send in a response team of water, sanitation, and food security experts.
Cathy Skoula, Executive Director of Action Against Hunger, stated, "In many of the places affected by the earthquake 80%-90% of the houses have been destroyed, forcing people to sleep outside exposed to winter temperatures and with no food, water or electricity. We must respond quickly and effectively to prevent this tragedy from worsening."
The 7.6 magnitude earthquake, centered outside of Muzaffarabad, approximately 50 miles from Islamabad, killed at least 30,000 people and devastated villages across Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. The number of people left without adequate food, water, and shelter by the quake remains unknown, but the UN estimates that 4 million people have been affected, 1 million seriously. The needs of the population are immense, including winterized tents, blankets, food, and potable water. According to Action Against Hunger's logistics coordinator Franck Gressard, "there's nothing left."
In response to the disaster, ACF immediately sent an assessment team to Islamabad, to help measure the scope of the damage and the most pressing needs of the affected population. After a rapid assessment, ACF has set up shop and is preparing to assist the victims of the earthquake. ACF's initial response will focus on ensuring that survivors of the earthquake have adequate supplies of food aid and potable water, with a reassessment of the needs of the survivors after the most serious effects of the earthquake have passed.
ACF will send a cargo plane on Wednesday with 30 tons of freight, including dry rations to respond to the nutritional needs of the population and equipment for the treatment, transport, and distribution of water.