Pakistan has also been hit hard by numerous earthquakes, droughts and floods in recent years. Reconstruction costs in the aftermath of these natural disasters are placing additional stresses on Pakistan’s fragile economy.
Islamic Relief in Pakistan
Islamic Relief started working in Pakistan in 1992. By initiating a child welfare and protection programme, we established ourselves as a development organization and then expanded our work in Neelum Valley Health in 2001.
A key achievement in 1998 was the launching of the prevention of blindness project which led to the opening of an eye hospital. The programme is still successfully operating and benefiting the community.
During the earthquake in 2005, Islamic Relief received an award for its relief efforts by the government of Pakistan and received international acclaim for its extensive humanitarian response. In 2010 and 2011, Islamic Relief responded extensively to the devastating floods which hit Pakistan through extensive emergency relief and reconstruction activities.
Following the 2010 flooding in Pakistan, entire communities were affected. One of Islamic Relief programmes was integrated village rehabilitation, which used an integrated approach, providing rehabilitation to water, sanitation and hygiene and housing facilities as well as livelihoods support.
The best way to help Pakistanis get back on their feet is to support them in their jobs – if families can earn a decent income, they can afford food, clothing, education and all the other necessities of life. In addition, we’ll fix some of the damage done by the floods to water sources, and help the community protect itself from any future floods, so that this level of damage doesn’t happen again.
- Water sources – 103 safe water sources will be provided in a variety of ways: new hand pumps, solar pumps, dams, ponds and repairing old water supplies will all provide water to more than 5000 families. Communities will be trained to build and maintain these sources, so that when Islamic Relief has left the area, they won’t need our help if things go wrong.
- Restoring farms – 2000 farmers will be helped to restore their land so it’s capable of growing crops, and four new irrigation channels will provide clean water for land and animals to 1000 farming families.
- Better farming techniques – as well as rehabilitating the farmlands, 3000 farmers will be trained on better methods of farming which can survive floods, and 1000 will be given support on managing their animals to keep them healthy.
- New jobs – many women in the area would love to contribute to their families’ income, but don’t have the skills – we’ll train 450 women in jobs to help them earn much-needed extra money. We’ll also train 200 young people and give 100 loans to help start small businesses.
- Solar-powered lights – 900 families will be given lighting in their homes so they can fully utilise their new skills to earn a better income at any time of day or night.
- Warning systems for floods – 40 community groups will be trained to raise the alarm if floods come again, and given the skills to respond quickly, saving lives and homes.