Direct Relief International, the Boeing Company, Emirates, and Pakistan International Airlines have partnered to deliver $1.5 million (wholesale) in humanitarian assistance to displaced people in Pakistan. Prolonged violence between the Pakistani military and the Taliban in the Swat Valley (in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province) since April has created a humanitarian emergency with a pronounced need for medical support. To help meet this critical need, Direct Relief’s provision of specifically requested medical aid arrived in Islamabad on June 29.
In addition to expediting aid to Pakistan’s displaced, Boeing’s in-kind donation, in collaboration with the two airlines, saved Direct Relief significant shipping costs. Longtime Direct Relief partner the Pakistan Institute of Prosthetic and Orthotic Sciences (PIPOS) received the consignment, and has proven well qualified to assist during emergencies, including the Pakistan earthquake of 2005. PIPOS has nine centers in Pakistan that focus on traumatic injuries; it received a spinal-cord injury drug, among other supplies, while the balance of the assistance was tailored to support people living in shelters. Items like oral rehydration, basic antibiotics, hygiene kits, and other medicines for respiratory infections become especially necessary when people are housed in close quarters.
Other partner groups receiving aid include American Refugee Committee (ARC) and the Marafie Foundation. ARC’s mission is to help displaced people rebuild their lives by providing healthcare services, security, microfinance opportunities, and community development. The Marafie Foundation operates a large network of health facilities throughout Pakistan.
Direct Relief is maintaining close contact with partners on the ground to determine the best response according to need. News reports indicate that 2 million people have been displaced by heavy fighting during the conflict.