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South Asia Earthquake: Aid efforts continue as bad weather hits

South Asia Earthquake: Aid efforts continue as bad weather hits

May 10, 2010

Oxfam aid workers hope to overcome deteriorating weather conditions and reach the Allpuri region of Pakistan with 400 tents and material for 800 temporary shelters. The items will provide refuge for a total of 12,000 people if aid trucks are able to access this area, one of the worst affected in Pakistan.

"The situation is desperate," said Oxfam aid worker Shaista Aziz. "With thousands homeless as winter sets in, exposure is a real worry. Now even pregnant women are forced to sleep in the open."

Oxfam has set up operations in some of the most inaccessible areas of Pakistan. All over the region bad weather conditions have caused roadblocks. Physical access to affected areas remains a major problem.

"At the moment we are distributing aid to people in situ, in small groups of four or five families," Aziz said. "By distributing aid to the people in their villages, we aim to avoid a mass movement of people into camps where disease could spread. Getting people temporary shelter and access to water in their communities is our top priority right now."

In neighbouring Indian-administered Kashmir, Oxfam is providing emergency shelter in the area around Srinagar, and will airlift in material for 1,000 temporary shelters and 5,000 blankets.

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