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Pakistan floods: Older people need to be included in emergency response

26 Sep 2011

An older women we met during our work in flooded areas.The most recents monsoon rains in Pakistan have affected at least 5.4 million people and displaced 1.8 million people in Sindh province.

Older people left behind

Efforts are currently underway to provide support and relief to those affected. Through our work, we have come across many instances of people leaving their homes to reach shelters but leaving behind older people in flood affected areas.

This shows again that older people are not being integrated in emergency responses; even by their own families. Often they become invisible or are actively marginalised.

Families say that they leave older people behind because they were not strong or mobile enough to make their own way to flood shelters. 

All older people should be included

As humanitarian workers, we need to look at how we make older people visible, included and integrated into the relief process.

Our our goal must be to ensure that every older person in need is looked after and that their experiences, wisdom and knowledge are not lost.

Read more about our response to the latest Pakistan floods.

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Asma Akbar

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These blogs are personal reflections and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelpAge International.