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Christian Aid is sending funds to relief organisation and partner Muslim Hands to deliver food, medical kits and tents to survivors of the two earthquakes to hit Pakistan’s south west region in the past week.
More than 550 people have been killed and hundreds more injured in remote and mountainous parts of Balochsitan, bordering Afghanistan and Iran.
The first earthquake hit last Tuesday, and the second on Saturday. With fears that people are still buried under the rubble the death toll could rise.
An estimated 300,000 people have been affected across the six districts of Arawan, Kech, Gwadar, Panjgur, Chaghai and Khuzdar. Christian Aid relief will be directed at some 4,500 of the most vulnerable.
The worst affected areas are in the most underdeveloped part of Pakistan where most villages do not have access to electricity or communications. With already limited infrastructure, the earthquake has destroyed most roads, making the areas even more inaccessible to aid deliveries.
The army, already deployed in the area because of the long running separatist insurgency, has been delivering food, medical supplies and shelter.
Neil Garvie, Christian Aid’s Emergency Programme Manager said, 'There is a desperate need for food and shelter. Poor security, prolonged conflict in the area and lack of infrastructure makes it almost impossible to reach the survivors with much needed aid.
'But through our partner Muslim Hands, who has worked in the region for some time, we will be able to reach thousands with help.'
Thousands of people have been left homeless and 30,000 homes have been destroyed. Some reports indicate that in Arawan District alone, 90 per cent of the houses were destroyed. Many homes in the area are weak because of lack of investment in housing, in the future stronger houses can be built to withstand disaster.
Irfan Khan, Muslim Hands Programme Manager, said: 'This is one of the worst disasters to have struck Balochistan in recent times. The problems such disasters leave behind are complex and need interventions at many levels. The immediate need is to help those who are stuck in remote and far-flung areas. But also, Muslim Hands is looking into building stronger houses for these communities for the future.'
Muslim Hands is a long established partner of Christian Aid, helping to build flood resistant homes after the floods of 2010. They have also constructed stronger homes for communities affected by Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar in 2008.