Update on ERD's efforts in Pakistan following earthquake

November 2, 2005

Nearly three weeks after a devastating earthquake shook Pakistan and India, Episcopal Relief and Development continues its work providing critical assistance to survivors in the region. The deadly earthquake has left an estimated 80,000 people dead and up to four million displaced. ERD’s partnerships within the Church of Pakistan are working with the Dioceses of Peshawar, Lahore, and Sialkot to distribute relief supplies such as food, tents, and blankets and provide health care services to affected communities.

In the Diocese of Peshawar, a static field hospital has been established within a secured army camp in Balakot. Services will be supported with oversight from the Mission Hospital in Peshawar, and include a dispensary, lab, and x-ray capacity. A referral system to the hospital in Peshawar has been established to treat patients needing specialized medical attention. A temporary medical team from Mission Hospital in Peshawar will be relieved by staff or persons who will be based at the medical until 2006. Medical specialists will also be coming on 2-3 week rotations through the International Christian Hospital Fellowship. Two mobile outreach units, clean water and sanitation activities, and tent schools for displaced children are also being established.

In Muzafarabad in Azad Kashmir, the Diocese of Sialkot is also providing health care services. So far, staff has treated 925 patients. “Approximately 575 patients were referred and transported to the base medical camp at Muzafarabad where teams of doctors and surgeons treated victims and performed minor surgeries,” said Kirsten Lauren, ERD’s Senior Program Director for Asia and New Initiatives. “Patients requiring major surgeries and care such as amputations, casts, and splints are referred and transported to Christian Hospital Sialkot and army hospitals,” said Laursen. “Our support for these medical services will continue through 2006.”

All three dioceses are distributing relief supplies both day and night to affected areas. So far, at least 12 containers of food, seasonal clothes, and bedding have been delivered.

ERD will continue working with partners in Pakistan to help devastated communities rebuild.

To help people affected by disasters, make a donation to the Emergency Relief Fund at http://www.er-d.org/, or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to Episcopal Relief and Development, Emergency Relief Fund, PO Box 12043, Newark, NJ 07101.

Episcopal Relief and Development is the international relief and development agency of the Episcopal Church of the United States. An independent 501(c) 3 organization, ERD saves lives and builds hope in communities around the world. We provide emergency assistance in times of crisis and rebuild after disasters. We enable people to climb out of poverty by offering long-term solutions in the areas of food security and health care, including HIV/AIDS and malaria.