USA: May 22, 2009. As over 1.5 million displaced Pakistanis flee their homes, Mercy Corps is committed to helping families and communities survive the violence that not only shake their lives but also destroy their communities. We reach out to you and others in the Pakistani-American community to ask for your support.
Through our Emergency Response fund, we were able to speed much-needed relief to thousands of people by distributing emergency supply kits to families sheltered in schools. These bags of blankets, soap, mosquito nets and other necessities were the first relief items received by these families, most of whom left their homes carrying only the clothes on their backs.
We plan to continue to work in this region of Pakistan distributing cash transfers and vouchers to families allowing them the freedom to choose which items best serve their immediate recovery needs caused by their sudden displacement. These recovery tools encourage trade and production and encourage long-term economic growth in the local community. Most importantly, using this approach provides affected families with greater choice and control over how they recover while maintaining their dignity. Our ongoing efforts will focus on immediate needs of families in communities overwhelmed by this influx, including ensuring they have access to cooking facilities, clean water, and sanitary housing.
Mercy Corps, a US non-governmental/non-profit organization based in Portland, Oregon, has been helping the people of Pakistan since 1986, when we began providing humanitarian assistance to Afghan refugees in Balochistan Province. Since then, our activities have expanded throughout the country. Today, in addition to responding to the conflict, we're working to improve access to health care, expand public facilities like roads and irrigation systems, and increase opportunities for people to earn a living. All these initiatives are revitalizing Pakistani communities and helping people live healthier, more productive lives.