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Statement on Emergency Response to Pakistan | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Phone: +1.206.709.3400
Email: media@gatesfoundation.org

SEATTLE -- An unusually heavy monsoon season this summer caused the worst flooding in Pakistan in more than 80 years. As of September 1, 2010, floods have killed 1,600 people and displaced up to 20 million.

On August 4, 2010, the foundation awarded a $700,000 grant to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to address the most pressing needs of the affected population. This grant is funding the distribution of basic necessities and hygiene kits, and providing water and sanitation services, as well as emergency health care to 150,000 flood-affected people. IRC has a long-standing presence in Pakistan and a proven ability to efficiently respond to complex, challenging environments.

On August 26, 2010, the foundation awarded a second grant of $600,000 to the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the region in northwest Pakistan hit earliest by the devastating floods. This grant will provide cash assistance to approximately 2,100 families for their emergency needs. The government indicated it plans to involve the Pakistan Red Crescent Society to help distribute funds. To date, the foundation’s efforts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have focused on polio eradication. This year alone, 75 percent of polio cases in Pakistan originated in this region. Sustaining polio immunization and efforts around other vaccine-preventable diseases continues to be a priority during this crisis for the government of Pakistan and the international community.

Our thoughts are with the people of Pakistan. Much more support will be needed from the international community to help Pakistanis recover from the immense devastation caused by these floods and reestablish their lives.

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