ANGELINA JOLIE: PAKISTAN FLOOD VICTIMS NEED YOUR HELP



The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie appealed for greater public support for efforts to provide humanitarian relief to the millions of people whose lives have been devastated by the floods inundating much of Pakistan.

In a video message released today, the actress points to the sheer scale of the disaster. "One-fifth of Pakistan is under water and the threat of disease now looms for 20 million affected people. This is not just a humanitarian crisis it is an economic and social catastrophe.

UNHCR is on the ground. The more support we can give, the greater number of tents, food, clean water and medicine will get to the people in need," she said.

Angelina Jolie had visited Pakistan on three previous occasions since
becoming a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador in 2001. At the outbreak of the
current crisis she donated 100,000 to the agency for its assistance work in the country.

The Executive Directors of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) today (31 Aug) called on the international community to step up their support for the victims of the ongoing floods in Pakistan.

UNICEF's Anthony Lake and WFP's Josette Sheeran made their call following a joint visit to operations in the Muzzafargarh district of Punjab, one of the worst affected parts of the country.

While in the field, the two agency heads visited a school which has been turned into an emergency relief centre, where UNICEF hygiene kits were being handed out to families hit by the floods.


 


They also saw a WFP food distribution that included specialised ready-to-eat foods for infants and young children, designed to prevent the early ravages of malnutrition.

Sheeran said that the catastrophe was massive and that WFP had to be sure we reach people. She added that there were people that had not been reached with any food yet. Sheeran emphasized the need for helicopters because they're cut off completely from roads, so she said that they need 40 helicopters to be able to reach people over the coming weeks.

WFP has reached three quarters of a million children with nutritious food supplements and nearly 3 million people with a one-month food ration.

Malnutrition rates in the flood zone were high before the surge of water displaced millions, leaving young children even more at risk to water-borne diseases.

Lake said he had been in a lot of "bad places over my life," but he added that for the scale this was the worst he had ever seen.

UNICEF is currently reaching around two million people with clean water every day and through hygiene supplies and assistance in sanitation, is working to prevent serious outbreaks of disease.

While WFP and UNICEF are focused on saving lives as people continue to flee the floodwaters, both agencies have already begun projects to repair tube wells and other important infrastructure, as well as assisting farmers in their first efforts to return to their land and prepare the upcoming planting season.

Meanwhile UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie appealed for greater public support for efforts to provide humanitarian relief to the millions of people whose lives have been devastated by the floods inundating much of Pakistan.

In a video message released today, the actress points to the sheer scale of the disaster. "One-fifth of Pakistan is under water and the threat of disease now looms for 20 million affected people. This is not just a humanitarian crisis it is an economic and social catastrophe.

UNHCR is on the ground. The more support we can give, the greater number of tents, food, clean water and medicine will get to the people in need," she said.