A year after the devastating earthquake of 8 October 2005 in northern Pakistan tens of thousands of people are still at risk, facing a second winter without permanent shelter.
The earthquake had killed over 73,000 people and left around 3.5 million homeless. Estimates have shown that even today around 66,000 families are without permanent shelter, while recent landslides and flooding have left most quake survivors in a precarious position.
The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have made contingency shelter plans for 13,500 families across the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
Azmat Ulla, Head of the International Federation's delegation in Pakistan said, "The Red Cross and Red Crescent, along with other aid agencies and the government of Pakistan, has been working to identify gaps and ensure that vulnerable communities make it through the winter."
Besides this, according to Ulla the big task at hand is to complete the recovery process.
He says, "Livelihoods must be restored, the health status of affected communities must be enhanced and survivors need to be able to get back to 'normal' life."
Following the disaster the PRCS and International Federation have provided assistance to 1.1 million people, including more than 70,000 tents, 220,000 CGI sheets, 132,000 tarpaulins, and 22,000 shelter repair kits. The Red Cross and Red Crescent medical support has provided aid to around half a million people.
Until the end of 2008 the International Federation and the PRCS are supporting recovery activities for a million people including the reconstruction of medical and community centers, education, irrigation schemes, primary health care and education, water and sanitation facilities, psychosocial support, skills training, and the distribution of fertilizer, seeds and farming tools.
However, more funding is required to complete the job and the International Federation continues to seek ongoing donor support for its recovery projects.
Khalid Kibriya, Secretary General of the PRCS said, "Compared to emergency relief operations, recovery is significantly more complex and challenging. It is vital that this phase be completed in order to build on the good work that's already been done and ensure that vulnerable communities become more resilient to disasters in the future."