ShelterBox issues emergency appeal for funds
An estimated 15,000 displaced earthquake victims are trying to withstand a fridgid upcoming winter in southwest Pakistan. Photo by Mark Pearson/ShelterBox
ShelterBox has issued an urgent appeal for funds to help provide aid to tens of thousands of displaced people in four countries following a succession of humanitarian crises.
Response teams from ShelterBox reacted quickly to distribute emergency aid to victims of the 29 October earthquake in Pakistan. And worsening humanitarian situations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Honduras, and Swaziland have stretched operations to the limit, ShelterBox representatives say.
"This is a life-or-death situation. Families who have lost their homes are in desperate need of shelter and warmth," says Sally Grint, ShelterBox communications and fundraising manager. "Donations are urgently needed to fund further deliveries of aid."
In southwestern Pakistan, a ShelterBox response team provided 1,000 containers to families left homeless after a powerful earthquake rocked impoverished regions there, killing at least 215 people and causing widespread destruction.
Each container provides a tent, a stove, a water purification kit, blankets, tools, and other necessities to help a family of 10 survive for six months.
Mark Pearson, response team leader on the ground in Pakistan, says winterized tents are desperately needed to shelter an estimated 15,000 displaced villagers trying to withstand frigid nighttime temperatures.
"We assessed the scattered villages around Ziarat District, and almost all the mud-brick houses were destroyed," Pearson says on the ShelterBox Web site.
Pearson praises the logistical support provided by local Rotary clubs. "The clubs in Quetta and Karachi are invaluable in the operations here, providing flights, security, accommodations, interpreters, and local knowledge," he says.
In Congo, an estimated quarter-million people are seeking refuge from fierce fighting between rebels and government forces. ShelterBox has provided 200 containers and has committed to deliver 200 more.
A response team also distributed 200 containers to residents of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, after heavy rains and flooding forced 22,000 people from their homes on 22 October.
And a ShelterBox team in Swaziland is distributing aid to children orphaned by AIDS in an ongoing program with the National Emergency Response Council on HIV/AIDS.
The ShelterBox program was launched in 2000 by Tom Henderson, a British Rotarian and former Royal Navy search-and-rescue diver, who is the charity's CEO.
To make a donation, visit ShelterBox online. Click here for donations in the United States.