Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Still in desperate need

Reports of looting, violence surface in flood-ravaged Pakistan
Desperation erupted into violence Tuesday in flood-ravaged Pakistan, as survivors who have yet to receive aid scrambled to put food in their empty bellies.

People in Sindh province blocked a highway to protest the slowness of aid delivery and clashed with police, the United Nations said. In a hard-hit district of Punjab, hungry mobs unloaded two aid trucks headed to a warehouse. Local aid agencies reported other incidents of looting.

An aid agency worker said distributions were hampered because of the crowds stopping the convoys and because large numbers of people were living along the road.

About 20 million people have been affected by the relentless monsoon rains that began falling three weeks ago, leading to massive flooding from the mountainous regions in the north to the river plains of the south.

About one-fifth of Pakistan is submerged, and entire families waded through filthy water, pleading for help.

More than 1,400 people have died. Health officials fear a second wave of fatalities from waterborne diseases, including cholera, which is endemic in Pakistan and now threatening to become a major outbreak.

UNICEF is reporting a shortfall in their water and sanitation programme that is threatening to hamper aid to the millions of children and their families at risk for disease. The aid organisation is delivering safe drinking water, critical medical supplies, food and family hygiene kits to more than a million people a day. But so many more need help. Please see UNICEF USA for more information about how you can help and to donate, if you can.

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