Thanks to the amazing generosity of Barakat’s supporters, Barakat has reached our goal of $10,000 for the first wave of support for 400 people who have fled to Attock, Pakistan, after their homes were destroyed in the country’s recent monsoon flooding.
After two weeks of giving out whatever extra food and clothing Barakat staff and students had, a formal distribution took place on Tuesday, August 24. The displaced families gathered at Barakat Elementary School and were given 1,640 Pakistani rupees ($19) per person. This money will help supply the families with food, shelter and supplies for a month.
The 400 people are from the Azakhail Payon Afghan Refugee Camp in Nowshera, in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province in Pakistan.
Barakat’s staff has been encouraging theses families to send their children to our schools, and so, 62 of the children will be enrolling at one of our schools in Attock in the coming weeks. Like Khadija Agha, many of these families could not send their children to school in their previous town, but are opting to now. Barakat will also cover the costs of their uniforms, shoes, bags and books.
Although the rains continue in Pakistan, and the flooding is moving down to Karachi, it has slowed down in Attock. Most of the flood’s victims that were staying with local relatives, friends, or host families have decided to stay in Attock permanently and are beginning to look for homes to rent for themselves. But the cost of renting a home for a family is expensive, roughly 5,000 to 7,000 rupees ($58-$81) a month.
Some of the displaced men have found daily wage jobs, but most have been unable to find a means of livelihood and are living off of donations as they try to pull their lives back together.
“Their condition is miserable; they have lost everything,” said Sumera Sahar, the County Director of Barakat Pakistan who is working in Attock. “Their major problem is looking for a permanent income. They still need money for food, clothes, basic household utensils, shoes, fans, etc.”
In addition, inflation following the flooding has made getting supplies–especially food–difficult. Goods that previously cost 50 rupees ($0.05) before the flood have tripled in price, reaching nearly 150 rupees ($1.70).
“This inflation is occurring for several reasons,” said Arti Pandey, Barakat’s Director of Programs. “The floods have utterly ruined the crops in their food-producing regions, and the supply of fruits, vegetables, etc. that used to come from Afghanistan has also been disrupted because bridges connecting the countries which were commonly used as food supply routes have been washed away.”
In order to continue to provide supplies for these victims, we at Barakat still need more help.
“All the refugees we meet here are suffering from hunger and poverty. The best way to help them is a provision of funds so that they can afford food and shelter, ” said Sahar.
By: Lisa DeBenedictis