Tag Archives: relief

‘Low-caste Hindus facing discrimination in relief distribution’

Low-caste Hindus in Sindh are faced with discrimination in the flood relief distribution programmes initiated by the government in the affected areas, observed Upgrade Minorities for Integrated Development (UMID), an NGO, at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club here on Tuesday. Pakistan has a population of three million Hindu …

Read more » The News

International Dalit Soliderity report 2011 – Plight of Dalit of Pakistan

The Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network (PDSN) has been instrumental in raising public awareness of caste discrimination in Pakistan in 2011 and creating a stir in the media. Media reports on caste discrimination have included issues such as bonded labour, untouchability, kidnapping and forced conversions of Dalits.

Media have also reported widely on discrimination in flood relief work in Pakistan following new monsoon rains, causing one of recent history’s worst disasters. Dalit communities were denied access to relief camps because of their caste and were forced to live under the open sky. The President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardai, has spoken out against this discrimination against Dalits in the on-going flood relief work saying that any discrimination in extending rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations to anyone on the basis of caste is unacceptable. Nonetheless the discrimination continued throughout 2011. PDSN has worked to support Dalit victims of the flooding and bring their plight to the attention of authorities, International NGOs and agencies involved in relief operations.

2011 also saw an increased visibility of Dalit women in Pakistan and Ms. Kalavanti Raja joined PDSN as Coordinator of the women’s wing of the network. Ms. Raja participated in several events, including the Dalit Women’s conference in Kathmandu, a South Asian Dalit conference in Bangladesh, and the IDSN International Consultation on Caste-Based Discrimination and council meeting in Nepal, where PDSN Coordinators also took part. She spoke at several events and monitored Pakistani media attention to the issue of caste discrimination, with regular updates to IDSN on the situation.

Jinnah Institute, a think tank working on minority issues, released a report in 2011 highlighting caste discrimination in Pakistan. According to the report the vast majority of Dalits in Pakistan do not own lands and work on daily wages, a consequence of them not having any permanent settlement. The report said, “One day, they are with one landlord, the next day with another. And this is how they spend a life of debt, with no accountability or education.” Their castes have translated into daily life. For instance, Dalits may be restricted to separate water wells in school, “from which also Muslims will not drink.” Dalits working in bonded labour continues to be a central issue in Pakistan. They are often forced to work under terrible conditions in what has been deemed ‘modern slavery’ with no view to ever repaying their debts. This form of slavery is particularly prevalent in the agricultural sector, construction work, mining and textile industries.

Continue reading International Dalit Soliderity report 2011 – Plight of Dalit of Pakistan

JuD ‘teaching’ Islam to Hindu flood victims

ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of people, including Hindus, staying in flood relief camps run by a front organization of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa in Sindh province are being “peppered liberally” with Islamic teachings , according to a report.

About 2,000 living in tents in camps set up by the Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation , the relief arm of the JuD, were rescued by the group’s volunteers.

They are provided meals twice a day “peppered liberally with religious teachings” , The Express Tribune reported. “They remind us again and again to offer namaz,” said a man at a relief camp in Badin. He said families have been given copies of the Quran. “Namaz parho, Quran parho, safai karo! (Say your prayers, read the Quran and clean up),” mimicked a refugee.

Courtesy: » TOI

Pakistan’s Dalits denied flood relief because of caste discrimination

– Desperately needed shelter and relief items are not reaching hundreds of thousands of Dalits who are left homeless after the severe flooding in Pakistan’s Sindh province. Dalits are being discriminated against because their caste relegates them to the bottom of the social order in Pakistan and ‘untouchability practices’ exclude them from sharing the same shelters as other members of society.

The President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardai, has spoken out against this discrimination against Dalits saying that any discrimination in extending rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations to anyone on the basis of caste, creed or religion is “Unacceptable” and has called for a report from the provincial government on the situation. ….

Read more → IDSN

Army wants Rangers’ operation to continue

– By Shamim-ur-Rahman and Baqir Sajjad Syed

KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was briefed on Wednesday on the overall security situation in Karachi, an ISPR press release said.

The COAS, who visited the Corps Headquarters here, was also briefed on the flood situation in Sindh and the rescue and relief efforts being undertaken by the army.

A delegation of notables from the business community of Karachi also called on Gen Kayani and apprised him of their concern over effects of the law and order situation on business and industrial activities in the city.

Corps Commander Lieutenant General Muhammad Zahir ul Islam also attended the meeting.

Anticipating an early end to Karachi operation, the army has cautioned the government that the city could once again descend into lawlessness if special powers for Rangers were withdrawn.

“Progress in Karachi is reversible and operation being conducted by Rangers must continue,” a military official told Dawn on Wednesday.

He was speaking after Gen Kayani attended a briefing in Karachi on the ongoing Rangers’ operation against target killers, extortionists and terrorist groups.

The government has already said it will not extend the operation beyond the mandated period. It appeared from conversation with some military officers, who attended the briefing, that the government could end the operation prematurely and again hand over the responsibility of maintaining peace in the city to police, citing improvement in situation.

The army is, however, not ready to trust the city’s police, which is considered to be highly politicised and lacking the capacity to effectively act against all terrorists. …

Read more → DAWN.COM

Sindh – American Flood Assistance Already at Work

More than 50,000 families reached in Sindh

Islamabad, September 13, 2011 (press release)– In response to the Government of Pakistan’s disaster declaration on September 9, the United States has immediately begun providing a broad range of assistance to Sindh communities affected by this year’s floods, including food supplies for more than 50,000 families, and safe drinking water, shelter, sanitation and hygiene supplies, and basic health care for thousands more.

“Assistance provided by the United States will help thousands of flood-affected families attend to their immediate needs over the next few weeks,” said Andrew Sisson, Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development Mission.

This support is part of the broader U.S. Government commitment to assisting the people of Pakistan by supporting long-term development in times of immediate crisis. It will be delivered by local and international organizations specializing in relief work.

Already, USAID-funded food packages have reached 23,000 families in seven districts of Sindh (Badin, Mirpurkhas, Tando Muhammed Khan, Tando Allah Yar, Tharparker, Umarkot, and Hyderabad). This assistance was delivered by the International Organization for Migration. USAID also paid for nearly 60 trucks to deliver relief to affected areas and 1,000 plastic tarpaulins for shelter, and is financing other efforts to coordinate relief activities.

In the coming days, U.S.-funded relief supplies, including shelter materials, drinking water, sanitation and hygiene provisions will be provided through the Rural Support Programs Network, a Pakistani non-governmental organization. The United States is also contributing funding for 26,000 food packages to be distributed by the World Food Program.

The U.S. has also provided funding to the Agha Khan University’s mobile health unit, which is providing health care to affected communities in to Badin District. Additional U.S.-sponsored medical teams will begin working in other heavily flooded areas within the next several days. These health services are crucial in preventing and treating diarrhea, malaria, and other diseases that typically follow floods.

Courtesy- Information Office, Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy Islamabad, Pakistan

http://islamabad.usembassy.gov/

Via → Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, September 13, 2011.

SINDH: MONSOON RAINS AFFECT MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, UN LAUNCHES HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

– PAKISTAN: MONSOON RAINS AFFECT MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, UN LAUNCHES HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

Press release – (Islamabad/Geneva/New York: 10 September 2011): Torrential monsoon rains have pounded southern Pakistan, triggering serious flooding affecting more than 5 million people, among them communities still recovering from last year’s extraordinary floods. The disaster has reportedly taken the lives of 199 people, and destroyed or damaged nearly one million houses, and flooded 4.2 million acres of land, prompting the Government of Pakistan to call for support from the United Nations.

The situation for those impacted by recent monsoons and subsequent floods is critical, with thousands of people in need of life-saving assistance due to the lack of food and safe drinking water and the loss of livelihoods and homes. In response the United Nations and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) undertook a joint field mission to see first hand the devastation and damage caused by fresh flooding. The NDMA Chairman and UN Humanitarian Coordinator held discussions with the Sindh Governor and Chief Minister. The joint mission team visited Thatta, Badin, T.M. Khan and Hyderabad districts, where they met with district officials and families displaced by floods. During the visit the Chairman and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator gained first hand information about the impact of the floods, which has made possible a rapid launch of the relief effort by the United Nations and other humanitarian partners to support the ongoing national relief efforts.

Continue reading SINDH: MONSOON RAINS AFFECT MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, UN LAUNCHES HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

BOX politics of PPP and MQM is not helping Sindh to lead Pakistan’s journey towards a prosperous land

– Sindh under multiple crises

by Zulfiqar Halepoto

The situation is getting worst day by day in Sindh. This will affect other parts of Pakistan and ultimately whole nation and the entire country will suffer.

Conservative ‘constituents’ BOX politics of PPP and MQM is not helping Sindh to lead Pakistan’s journey towards a prosperous land, full of resources (natural and human) and opportunities on merit with rule of law and constitutionalism. The political rift is dividing the citizens of Sindh on ethnic lines and peace loving and progressive people are afraid.

On the other hand ‘ACTION REPLY OF HUMAN DISASTER’ has destroyed billions of rupees agriculture, crops and food supply in 12 fertile districts of Sindh. Around 100 people are died in couple of days. Thousands of families are displaced. Children and women are the worst victim of the fresh wave of FTAL rain. Livestock and food supply are vanished. People are living measurable lives in camps. Political heat has over shadowed this human catastrophic situation.

Where is the government? Where is the state? Nobody is there to take notice. Government stopped INGOS and UN systems to intervene in the recent disaster relief actions. Government has no capacity to deal with the science of disaster.

Another bad news is that in two years time 600 Sindhi Hindu families have migrated from upper Sindh to India, Dubai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore due to every day deteriorating law and order situation in rural Sindh. People are victim of terrorists in Karachi and other urban towns peaceful citizens of rural areas are victim of kidnapping, Bhatakhoree and forced conversation of their women to other religions.

All anti-Sindh feudal who are destroying the landscape of ‘diversity and plurality’ are now part of PPP government under so-called reconciliation. These feudal and tribal chiefs initiate tribal clashed and instigate their tribesmen to kill innocent people and they maintain their fiefdoms. There is no rule of law. They all are beyond any accountability because they are supported by agencies too to destroy Sindh’s progressive political base. Sindhi Hindu families are also victim of this culture.

Some districts of upper Sindh have become ‘NO GO AREAS’ for innocent citizens. So-called progressive and learned PPP leaders are shamefully kept silent on these crimes. Sindh is about to collapse on all political, economic and social fronts.

I wonder, even the greatest sacrifice of Benazir Bhutto didn’t inspire the rulers to change the CULTURE. I don’t know who is going to stop all this menace in Sindh, which is heating the whole country.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups,  September 3, 2011.

They won’t let UN, and others help: a million homeless, threat of epidemics, no clean water, lack of food. they don’t care. UN says they can’t do anything without a request and have been expressing surprise no request is forthcoming.

– No aid needed from world donors for flood victims in Sindh: NDMA

ISLAMABAD, Aug 20 (APP): Chairman,National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Zafar Qadir on Saturday said that the Authority would not be looking for any international assistance for the current floods which hit Sindh province. NDMA was efficiently managing the relief work and facing no difficulties in its operations, he told APP. The Authority has distributed relief items including 12,700 tents, three water purification plants and 23,000 family ration packs, to the flood-affected people in Sindh. The relief goods have been disbursed in the inundated districts of Badin, Tando Muhammad Khan and Mirpur Khas besides the badly damaged Mithi town of Tharparker district, he said. …

Read more → Associated Press of Pakistan

Malnutrition levels in Sindh reached 21% to 23%, according to the WFP. That is above African standards. The emergency standard is 15%

Pakistan ‘crop shortage’ warning

By M Ilyas Khan, BBC News, Islamabad

Lowering wheat prices would create food shortages in Pakistan and encourage smuggling, officials say, responding to criticism from the UN.

On Wednesday the UN’s food relief agency said the government set prices too high and malnutrition was rising.

But an official at Pakistan’s food ministry told the BBC farmers would simply switch to more lucrative crops if wheat prices went down.

Devastating floods across Pakistan in 2010 damaged acres of arable land.

Although crop yields in 2011 are projected to be healthy, prices are too high for an impoverished population, the director of the UN’s World Food Programme told journalists on the sidelines of humanitarian meetings in Geneva on Wednesday.

“The crop outlook is not bad but the food security situation remains difficult because prices remain so high,” Wolfgang Herbinger said.

Smuggling risk

Malnutrition levels in the southern province of Sindh had reached 21% to 23%, according to the WFP.

“That is well above African standards. The emergency standard is 15%,” Mr Herbinger said. …

Read more : BBC

‘Flood-hit women abandoned by govt, relief agencies

SINDH: KARACHI – The worst victims of the last year’s flood have been the women of the province as the government and other relief agencies did not give them priority while their issues still remain largely unaddressed.

This was pointed out by speakers at a dialogue held on women rights hosted by women wing of Sindhi Association of North America. SANA vice-president Noor Nisa Ghanghro presided over the session, which was attended by a large number of political and women rights’ activists.

The speakers emphasised that all poverty-alleviation programmes must address the gender poverty issue while particularly focusing on rural women

Expressing grave concern over a recent report from the flood-hit areas of Sindh that over a million rural women were suffering from blood anaemia, they demanded that the authorities concerned should take the issue seriously and immediately help the womenfolk of the province. …

Read more : Pakistan Today

Let’s give Sindh a helping hand

Gulf News Editorial: Humanitarian bodies must ensure food and medical aid reach those affected by floods

Time has stopped for the hapless survivors in Sindh whose lives were turned upside down by the severe floods that hit the Pakistani province last year.

Surveys carried out in the wake of that disaster have revealed the extent of acute malnutrition in the region. The issue has been highlighted only recently due to prevailing social conditions and the lack of contact between the people and medical experts. Poverty levels have been at an all-time high for decades as a result of which the lives of thousands of children are also at risk.

Unicef has found that the percentage of those hit by the problem is higher than the 15 per cent emergency threshold set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and on par with the poorest parts of sub-Saharan Africa. It has also been noted that women form a larger part of the overall figure.

While efforts are being made to address this problem, humanitarian organisations must galvanise themselves to ensure that the thousands who have been affected can obtain food and medical relief. …

Read more : Gulfnews

Hundreds of Sindhi-Americans Gathered in Houston to Pay Tribute to Their National Leader

Condemned the religious intolerance and human rights violations in Pakistan

HOUSTON, TX, USA. Tens of hundreds of Sindhi-Americans gathered in Houston on Saturday, January 15, 2011 to commemorate the 107th birthday of Mr. G. M. Syed, a national leader of the Sindh who waged a nonviolent struggle against religious fundamentalism and for freedom.

Sindh is home to the ancient Indus (Sindhu) Valley civilization and is now a unit of Pakistan. A vibrant Sindhi-American community numbering in the tens of thousands lives in various U.S. cities. More than 30 million Sindhis live in Sindh today. Sindhis are supportive of democracy and secularism and have been marginalized by security establishment of the country and its religious extremist reactionary ideology.

Continue reading Hundreds of Sindhi-Americans Gathered in Houston to Pay Tribute to Their National Leader

Pakistan – Borrow until broke: how to make a nation fail

– Dr Manzur Ejaz

The lack of governance, irresponsible spending by the governing elite and non-collection of income taxes are the biggest hurdles. Power shortages, corruption and nepotism are major hurdles for the private sector to increase production. The opportunism of different political parties does not allow any government to devise a rational policy …

Read more : Wichaar

Some good work from USAID

U.S. Provides Equipment To Lady Health Workers

ISLAMABAD: More than 1,500 Lady Health Workers who work in areas in Punjab and Sindh provinces affected by the floods will receive kits of basic equipment to assist them as they offer vital health care services to families in their communities. This donation is part of the United States’ continuing support for Pakistan’s flood relief and recovery efforts.

The kits were donated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to Pakistan’s National Program for Family Planning and Primary Health Care. Kits include blood pressure monitors, scales, thermometers, blankets, tents, and basic furniture. This equipment will enable Lady Health Workers to set up health houses to provide basic services in flood-affected communities. …

Read more : ONLINE

SANA flood relief event in Houston, TX Oct 23, 2010

Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) is sponsoring a flood relief dinner in Houston, TX on October 23rd, 7pm at a hall at the NE corner of Dairy Ashford and Bissonnet. Anyone, everyone is welcome to participate. Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker has confirmed to attend the event. A local restaurant is to provide food for 500-700 participants free of cost. Pledges already received for $45,000.00. Will be a great event.
Just to share information with you that SANA has already collected more than US$75,000.00. It has spent some of the funds for the flood relief efforts while the organization is in the planning stage for utilizing more funds for long term projects to help flood affected people.

SINDH – flood victims suffer food poisoning

250 flood victims suffer food poisoning – By Irfan Aligi

KARACHI: More than 250 of the 1,400 flood victims at a relief camp set up in Bengali Boys Sindhi Section School in Ibrahim Hyderi fell unconscious immediately after consuming cooked food, sources said.

The victims started vomiting and the condition of around 59 of them started worsening until they had to be taken to a nearby hospital.

The medical teams available at the camp rushed to the scene and efforts were initiated to provide immediate medical assistance to them.

A local philanthropist had been providing cooked food to the flood victims after Mukhtiarkar Asadullah Abbasi had encouraged him to do so.

A well-placed officer in the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) Revenue Department told Daily Times that by the time the food carriage arrived at the relief camp, the cooked rice had turned stale.

However, since the rice did not show any sign of rotting, it was served to the flood victims.

Subsequently, they started vomiting and majority of them fell unconscious.

Read more >> Daily Times

Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim, we are proud of you

by Suraiya Makhdoom

I had the honour to watch honourable Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim’s detailed interview on ARY news. As usual he was great and spoke as a true son of the soil, Sindh.

To a question about Sindh situation, our Fakhru Saeen said those who live in Sindh should consider themselves as Sindhis. We should realise that Sindh gave us shelter and gave us opportunities to prosper. Sindh has given us everything. He also spoke passionately about the flood related issues.

Saeen Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim has said it all and he has also proven with his deeds what he says. Currently he is busy in providing relief to the flood affected people. He has responded to people’s problems and he is working to address the same. He has provided relief in many flood affected areas, such as Khairpur, Sukkur, Shikarpur and Kashmore.

Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim has a distinguished career and is well known for his principled stance. He has been a Supreme Court Judge, Attorney General for Pakistan, Governor of Sindh and Federal Law Minister. In 1981, while serving as an adhoc Judge of the Supreme Court, he and Justice Dorab Patel (another great son of the soil), refused to take a fresh oath under the PCO, promulgated by General Zia-ul-Haq.

In his latest interview, Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim while analysing the constitutional and other problems of Pakistan, has once again pleaded the case of Sindh as well and expressed his concern for the flood affected people.

Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, Sindh is proud of you . We salute you for your courage, principles and compassion. May God give you long life and excellent health.

September 7, 2010

Sindhi Association of New Jersey – Sindh Flood Relief Fundraiser

Sindh Flood Relief Fundraiser- September 9 from 6PM to 9PM

Sindhi Association of New Jersey (SANJ) has teamed up & actively supports Hemant’s Initiative for SINDH FLOOD RELIEF. Take the little effort to attend the event evening.

An awareness/fund raising event will be held for Sindh relief victims – featuring jazz singer Sachal Vasandani, Nita Chawla, and global environmental/solar energy band Solarpunch.org. All three have given their time and talent generously pro bono, and they all believe in the unity of this collective community and in the betterment of humanity – they are truly a blessing to us in our community as many of you will see on on Thursday September 9 from 6PM to 9PM, Sumei Multidisciplinary Arts Center, 85 Hamilton Street (corner of Hamilton and NJ Railroad Avenue), Newark, NJ.

Strength is in numbers. It is not so much about the donation, but what we can create with that collective energy. If you live away from NJ/NY/CT, we encourage you to organise local fundraisers. Let us know and we will guide you on this. A GLOBAL SINDHI FUND for SINDH FLOOD RELIEF PROJECTS is also in the works.

Efforts by Sindhi Americans Influence USAID Flood Assistance to Provinces

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA
Finally, the USAID authorities have accepted the long-standing demand of Sindhi-Americans to monitor fairness and equitability in the distribution of aid for flood victims in Pakistan and ensure that the aid reaches all provinces and is not controlled by the highly centralized federal government of Pakistan. The report gives a breakdown identifying several items by each province.
However, much more advocacy activities have to be undertaken by Sindhi-Americans for even the USAID report does not include province-by-province breakdown of large amounts and simply says “Affected Areas”.
To learn more about USAID, go to http://www.usaid.gov
USAID: http://www.usaid.gov/pakistanflooding/
The Center for International Disaster Information: http://www.cidi.org
Information on relief activities of the humanitarian community can be found at http://www.reliefweb.int

Flood threatens Sindh

Pakistan floods threaten key barrage in southern Sindh

Waters have exceeded the danger level at a key flood barrier in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh.

The Sukkur Barrage flooding means Sindh faces as much devastation as that seen further north in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces, say experts.

Enraged survivors have been physically attacking government officials in flood-hit areas, amid widespread anger at the pace of the relief effort.

At least 1,600 people have died in the region’s worst deluge in 80 years.

With more than 14 million people already affected, the monsoon rains show little sign of abating.

On Monday, a new international radio initiative called “info-as-aid” made its first broadcasts in Urdu and Pashto in an effort to spread information about accessing aid and also about countering disease.

Read more >> BBC