Recovery is underway after deadly floods that claimed 1,559 lives in Pakistan. The floods, which left millions displaced, were followed by an outpouring of aid to the country. Türkiye, for its part, mobilized to help the affected. The Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay) is the leading Turkish charity at the forefront of humanitarian efforts.
Teams of the Turkish Red Crescent try to reach as many as possible, though floodwaters still remain in some places. Either by trucks or by boats, teams seek to address the basic needs of the displaced, including accommodation, food and hygiene.
The charity’s president, Kerem Kınık, says the Red Crescent “never left” Pakistan after a deadly earthquake in 2005. “We set up a permanent humanitarian aid delegation here after the 2005 disaster. Our delegation was among the responders to this new catastrophe as well. By the time our teams from Türkiye arrived here, our colleagues, in cooperation with Pakistan Red Crescent, were healing the wounds,” he said.
Kınık also said the Red Crescent first supplied food aid and later organized accommodation efforts. “With the tents we sent from Türkiye and tents we obtained here in Pakistan, we tried to protect flood victims. There is still work to do to address accommodation needs, as well as public health,” he noted. Kınık pointed out that the biggest threat to flood victims was now infectious diseases. “Clean drinking water is a major necessity here. Swamps that the floods created may cause millions to fall ill. People are in need of hygiene materials. So, we will concentrate on supplying hygiene and health care aid in the next stage of our efforts,” he said.
The province of Sindh in Pakistan’s southeast is among the worst-hit regions after floods triggered by the heaviest rainfall in three decades that started in June. One-third of Pakistan was inundated with floods, which prompted Pakistan to turn to the international community for aid. In Sindh, which has a population of about 48 million people, more than 500,000 people are still without a home and are taking shelter in makeshift houses.
Shazadi Mala, who has lived in a tent supplied by the Turkish Red Crescent in Sindh since last month, says some 200 families in their village had to abandon it when the floods hit.
“I have a 1-year-old baby and I don’t have any means to take care of him. It is very difficult. We have to drink water from the Indus river,” she said. Muhammad Sumar, who lost his 13-month-old daughter to malaria, which became widespread after the disaster, says they had no place to go. “My home, my village is entirely flooded. We could not properly bury our baby and had to bury her here under a tree. We are waiting for the water to recede to return home,” he said.
“I have a baby and we have nothing. My husband brings food by fishing in Indus. We have nothing else to eat,” Marham Morid, another flood victim, said.