„We are particularly affected by the climate change“

In conversation with PMS general manager Adeel Rhemat

by LKO, 2016/06/17

Whether floods and earthquakes or defective health care and terrorist groups: Pakistan does not only suffer from heavy, regularly recurring natural disasters, but also has to face time and again the typical challenges of a developing country.

Together with its longstanding partner organisation Pak Mission Society (PMS) humedica meets these challenges with targeted disaster relief aid and long-term projects. During his visit in Germany, we had the chance to discuss the biggest humanitarian problems and joint tasks ahead in Pakistan with Adeel Rhemat, general manager of PMS.

Dear Mr. Rhemat, what is your personal motivation to help your destitute compatriots?

My main motivation is my Christian faith. The church and its representatives have opened us many doors in most diverse regions of Pakistan. For me now is the time to help people, who suffer from either poverty or nature disasters and to share God´s love with them.

What are the biggest humanitarian challenges for Pakistan?

I think the refugee movements within our country are a problem, we will have to solve on various levels. And then there is of course the climate change, which hits Pakistan particularly hard. Many people in Pakistan have to bear the consequences of heavy rains such as floods and landslides, but the major part of these people is very poor and not equipped to deal with such challenges. The constantly occurring nature disasters are presently our main problem, which, in all likelihood, will preoccupy us also in the years to come.

To your opinion, which are the areas the international support should focus on?

A lot of organisations already engage in the area of emergency and relief aid in Pakistan. But we also need long-term support such as help with reconstruction or educational work.

For example there are still regions in Pakistan, where people drink unknowingly contaminated water and get ill without being aware why. Especially in this sector international help could successfully initiate long-term, positive changes in our country.

Nevertheless we are dependent on help from outside in case of natural disasters. Pakistan is not able to cope with these catastrophes alone.

How do humedica and PMS collaborate in Pakistan?

We started to cooperate with humedica in 2010, a time, when PMS still was a very small aid agency. Thanks to the collaboration we had the chance to bring much needed assistance to many regions of the country, which were indigent, but received less attention. We could especially expand our capacity development and earn credibility in our country due to the support of well-known partners such as the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development or the German Department of Foreign Affairs.

Where lies the present focus of our joint efforts?

At the moment we engage in relief measures for people affected by the last earthquake in the Shangla district and focus at the same time on the reconstruction support after the flooding in Kohistan. Furthermore we organise long-term educational campaigns on the topics of water and hygiene in the villages of the Shanghar district.

Besides the implementation of the current relief measures we are already preparing future projects with the German humedica office. Among other things we develop a special awareness programme for women and children to ameliorate their health. We are also about to work out a project for nutrition security.

Where do you see humedica and PMS activities in the long term?

I think that PMS and humedica are at a stage, where, besides emergency and relief aid, long-term projects increasingly become an important part of our daily work. I hope that we will go together this step towards a comprehensive, long-term support in Pakistan in order to implement sustainable development and at the same time to be of best possible use for people in need.

Thank you so much for talking to us. All the best for your work in Pakistan, Mr. Rhemat.

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