23.08.2010 - Press release
Pakistan: drinking water for 250,000 people
Switzerland is stepping up its aid for Pakistan. In several regions the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is launching projects for the disinfection and distribution of drinking water. About 250,000 people are expected to benefit from this. International organisations will receive further support, and in cooperation with the Swiss Red Cross, tents will be distributed to 5,000 people.
By installing water tanks, pumps and water distribution points and by disinfection measures, the SDC is strengthening its emergency aid for Pakistan in the particularly urgent area of water supply. Five experts from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit will be deployed in Pakistan for this purpose. Two of the experts arrived in Pakistan this weekend. The three others will fly to Pakistan on Tuesday 24 August.
Reconstruction in the flood-affected areas of Pakistan can only be achieved through long-term projects. At the moment, emergency aid is the priority and the emphasis is on saving lives. Thanks to the water projects, 50,000 people in the province of Sindh in the south of the country, 100,000 people in the Punjab region and 100,000 people in the region to the south of the Swat valley will also benefit from improved drinking water quality. To improve the availability of drinking water in suburban regions, disinfection kits to purify water in wells are being prepared for distribution.
Support to international organisations is also being increased: the ICRC contribution is being raised by CHF 2 million to CHF 5 million. The World Food Programme will receive CHF 1 million. About CHF 1 million will be used for bilateral immediate aid. In addition, the secondment of experts to the WFP, UNHCR and UNHABITAT is also being considered.
In the area of emergency accommodation, 1,000 tents as well as sleeping bags, household utensils and hygiene equipment are being purchased for 5,000 persons. The purchases are being carried out together with the Swiss Red Cross. The Pakistani Red Crescent, with the support of SHA experts, will be responsible for distribution.