Pakistan displacement and floods
In Pakistan we are working to support older displaced people in Jalozai camp, near the border with Afghanistan. We are also helping older people affected by the 2012 floods in Shikarpur district.
Photo: Nafeh bin Naeem/HelpAge International
Conflict close to the Afghan border has forced over 250,000 people from their homes in the last year, leaving them without enough food, water or shelter and vulnerable to disease. We estimate that over 44,000 older people have been affected by this conflict and subsequent displacement.
And in August 2012, heavy monsoon rains drenched Shikarpur and Jacobabad districts. Thousands of families have lost their homes and livelihoods and are in need of assistance. The floods affected around 183,000 older people, 16,000 of which are in Shikarpur district.
Currently, 6.5% of the population of Pakistan is over 60 and 21% of the population live on less than US$1.25 a day. Older men and women are some of the most vulnerable people in disasters and conflicts.
Reaching older people and their families
In Jalozai camp, our work supporting older people is funded by our Global Emergency Fund and includes activities in several areas:
Food and other basic items:
- We have distributed 1,000 food baskets to older people with chronic conditions. Each basket contains milk, porridge, dates, husk and pulses.
- We have provided 4,600 hygiene and personal kits to older people. Each kit includes bath and hand towels, tooth brushes, toothpaste, soap, combs, shawls, umbrellas and plastic mats.
- We have given 675 mobility aids to older people with disabilities, including crutches, wheelchairs, hearing aids, walking sticks, walkers and toilet chairs.
- We have organised eye camps and in total screened 5,486 people for cataracts. 208 older people were operated on for cataracts, 4,279 received eye medication and 3,631 glasses.
- 8,074 older people have received education on oral health, home-base care of chronic diseases, physical exercise, pain management and eye care.
- 1,005 older people who suffer from illnesses such as anxiety, sleep disorders, depression and Alzheimer’s disease received one-to-one or group counselling.
- We trained 51 Ministry of Health and Merlin staff on age-friendly primary healthcare, caring for those who are carers and eye care.
- We have carried out nine workshops for national and international organisations, as well as government officials and UN agencies who work with displaced people to ensure older people are included in the humanitarian response.
We are providing 4,200 shelter kits, which contain bamboo poles, plastic sheets, rope, pegs and tools to build temporary shelters.
We have also carried out additional work with Merlin, with funding from the European Commission in the Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as Badin, Dadu and Thatta districts of Sindh Province.
In Swat district we examined 1,259 older men and women for cataracts and distributed 315 mobility aids. And in Sindh province, we organised eye camps in which 703 older people were examined, 450 were given glasses, 563 were provided with medicine and 47 older people were operated for cataracts. We also distributed 173 mobility aids.