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3rd report "temporary guardian"

Pakistani Government asks SOS Children to care for children separated from their families by the earthquake

SOS Pakistan stampsThe Pakistani government has asked SOS Children to act as the temporary guardian of children left unaccompanied by the earthquake in Pakistani-administered Kashmir until they can be reunited with their families. For the reunification process SOS Children is collecting as much information as possible from each child, and is setting up a database containing the children’s photographs. Children who were orphaned, or those who cannot be reunited with their families, will be offered long-term care in a family environment at an SOS Children's Village.

This remarkable vote of confidence in SOS Children has to be seen in the context of an organisation which has been actively involved in Pakistan since 1975 and has even had stamps issued by the Paksitan post office in our honour.

"It still remains to be seen how many children have been affected and are unaccompanied. We are prepared to care for every child and have the capacity to take in any number of children," said Souriya Anwar, President of SOS Children in Pakistan.

Injured children are being airlifted from the disaster regions and flown into hospitals around the country. SOS Children is working closely with local authorities and hospitals to identify children requiring safe shelter and care, and is bringing them to SOS Children’s emergency shelter in Islamabad. In addition, a further seven SOS Children's Villages throughout Pakistan are prepared to accommodate and care for quake-affected children.

At least 33,000 people have been killed following the devastating earthquake which ripped through large areas of Northern Pakistan and India on 8 October 2005. All the SOS Children's Villages in the area, apart from that in Muzaffarabad, appear to have suffered only minimal damage. SOS Children has begun providing emergency assistance in the area.

The town of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, north of Islamabad, was close to the earthquake’s epicentre and has been completely destroyed.

SOS Children has established an emergency programme for the survivors of the earthquake in Jammu and Kashmir, north of Islamabad. SOS Children is working with the local authorities and the army to organise temporary shelters for the affected people. SOS Children is making full use of its longstanding experience and humanitarian work in Pakistan and is providing relief goods needed by the people. These relief goods include four water plants which will provide 25,000 people with daily drinking water. Emergency rations of dried food, milk and water for 1,000 people, as well as blankets, mattresses and tents, have been flown to Muzaffarabad.

Goods can now be directly transported as a road to the affected area has been opened. We are now able to step up our emergency relief efforts considerably. A team of 20 SOS Children employees is currently coordinating our relief efforts within Muzaffarabad.

SOS Children is sending a team and emergency supplies to Bagh, another town close to the earthquake's epicentre and which has so far not been reached by authorities. In addition, emergency shelter is being provided in Islamabad for unaccompanied children and women, and collection points for the distribution of clothing will be established.

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SOS Children’s charity work aims to help children and families get out of poverty and live a better life.