B-Roll / 1:56 / MPG / 72.7 KB

04-07-2011 | Latest News , Asia & Pacific

IFRC Pakistan Flood Operation: 1 Year on (2) Additional B-Roll)


Pakistan Floods 1 Year on - Additional 3 B-Rolls to preview and download with SHOTLIST

VIDEO 1 - Health Programme (SHOTLIST ATTACHED)

When monsoon floods swept across Pakistan in July/August 2010, millions of people fled their homes, leaving their life as they knew it behind. Water systems were damaged or destroyed forcing people to rely on dirty flood water to quench their thirst. The prevalance of diseases like diarrhoea, scabies and upper respiratory tract infections skyrocketed.

The IFRC and Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) responded immediately, providing basic health care to thousands of survivors. Long term recovery plans include the establishment of 24 basic health units in 5 provinces. Aside from providing basic services, teams will promote healthy living, and teach villagers proper hygiene practices.


Natural disasters are nothing new to Pakistan. When monsoon floods devastated the landscape in July/August 2010, volunteers and staff with the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) sprung into action. Using skills they had learned after the 2005 earthquake, these volunteers were able to help rescue people from raging flood waters, get them to safety and erect emergency shelter for them.

PRCS continues to train hundreds of volunteers in disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction, conducting an annual camp, during which they practice their skills in mock disasters.

The PRCS has thousands of volunteers across its 89 districts, along with personnel trained in disaster response, basic health, and water and sanitation.

PRCS volunteers will play a key role in the floods recovery programme. They act as the entry vehicle into communities, linking RCRC to villagers. They will help establish village committees, registering these committees with governments to ensure participation in early warning systems, and assist them in developing preparedness, response and evacuation plans.




Getting essential and relevant information to individuals during disasters can save lives. Finding an effective way to do that is what the Red Cross Red Crescent considers just as vital as providing essential food items, shelter, health care and water/sanitation.

Based on programming that was initiated in Indonesia and developed further in Haiti, the IFRC has launched a beneficiary communications programme in Pakistan. It relies on a mix of traditional and modern communication methods to disseminate messages, including radio, television, print, sms messaging, as well as face-to-face contact.

"It is critical that we give people a voice," says Caroline Austin, IFRC beneficiary communications delegate. "We have a responsibility to engage disaster survivors in conversation. Getting their input means we can tailor and adjust our programming to better meet their needs. It means we can deliver aid more effectively."

One of the programme's first outputs was an hour long weekly call-in radio show, broadcast by volunteers with the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS). It was complemented by a 30-minute television show, both of which delivered information on issues like health and disaster risk reduction. Hosts also fielded questions from the audience ranging from the rebuilding of schools to plans for distribution of relief goods. Text messaging is in the pipeline. The use of SMS allows subscribers to receive messages and respond to them, thus enabling the RCRC to rapidly tailor an appropriate response to the feedback received.

Communicating with survivors of disaster is a relatively simple concept that is fraught with many challenges. Overcoming gender discrimination is one such challenge when trying to reach women. In many rural communities, particularly in northern Pakistan, women are not allowed to watch tv or listen to radio. They cannot read pamphlets handed out by aid organizations unless the men have first read and approved them. In general, men feel it is their responsibility to pass along information to their families and wives.

Aside from face-to-face discussions, diagrams and simple drawings also work well when the population being served is largely illiterate, which is often the case as those hit hardest by disaster tend to be the poorest of the poor.

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