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Cold winter in Kashmir and Pakistan

Cold winter in Kashmir and Pakistan

 

One year on from the Asian Earthquake, there is concern for older communities facing a second hard winter. The earthquake devastated areas of India-controlled Kashmir and Pakistan, and killed more than 74,000 people.

Throughout the past 12 months, Help the Aged has been working on both sides of the Line of Control in Pakistan and India-administered Kashmir to ensure that older people and their families who were directly affected by the devastating earthquake last October have shelter, food, sanitation and access to medical care and treatment.

During the initial relief phase, HelpAge India immediately sent a Mobile Medical Unit to the devastated area, and rapidly provided sturdy and well-insulated family shelters - crucial as a heavy winter was beginning to bite. In addition to providing shelter for older people and their families, dry food rations, woollen clothes and non-food items were given to thousands of families. Vulnerable older people were also identified to benefit from a cash transfer programme, in which they will receive small amounts of money for livelihood items.

In Pakistan, Help the Aged partnered with aid agency Merlin to provide health and psychological care for older people. Merlin also strive to ensure that older people who survived the earthquake do not miss out on the extended relief programme.

Mike Lake, Director General at Help the Aged, said; 'Although the initial access and implementation of projects in the devastated regions was hampered by security, access and severe weather conditions, Help the Aged provided thousands of winter-safe shelters to older people and their families to protect them from the potentially fatal harsh winter.

The association also provided vital healthcare within the affected region - and was the only specialist healthcare provider for older people in the Bela Camp, in Kashmir. 'With this winter predicted to be even harder, we are currently working to ensure that older people and their families are protected from the cold. Long-term we are implementing training programmes to tackle the shortage of skilled construction labour, which will also give new employment opportunities.'

REHACARE.de; Source: Help the Aged
- More information at: www.helptheaged.org.uk

 
 

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