The Skoll Foundation announced today it is providing emergency grants to three of its social entrepreneurs working in Pakistan, and to two additional partners who also have ongoing programs in the country, many in flood affected areas. The grants will go to support the various emergency relief activities each of the organizations are currently involved in, such as distributing clean water, food and medicine to those displaced by the floods.
The Skoll grantees include the Institute for Development Studies and Practices (IDSP), the Kashf Foundation, and the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL). IDSP, founded in 1999 by Dr. Quratul Ain Bakhteari, provides training and education to thousands of young men and women across several regions of Pakistan. They are now engaging in relief efforts in various provinces, including Sibi, where an estimated 40,000 people have been displaced due to the floods. The Kashf Foundation, one of the largest microfinance institutions in Pakistan, was founded in 1996 by Roshaneh Zafar. Kashf anticipate broad repercussions due to so much of the population leaving flooded rural areas and heading to cities, and are establishing a fund to support relief efforts. AIL, which provides education and health care to hundreds of thousands of women and children in Afghanistan, was established in 1995 by Dr. Sakena Yacoobi. It has refugee programs located in Peshawar, in the affected flood zone. AIL is responding to the emergency by coordinating the distribution of safe drinking water (through hiring water tankers), food and medicines.
Two additional organizations — Relief International (RI) and Ashoka – who have active programs and staff on the ground in Pakistan, will also receive emergency Skoll grants. Pakistan is a significant area of focus for RI, who has over 300 staff across several provinces. They are currently focusing on food distribution; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions; health services and child protection—targeting communities of highest need. Ashoka has 13 Fellows in Pakistan, including Dr. Quratul Ain Bakhteari of IDSP, who are currently involved in flood relief activities and fundraising for flood affected people.
The Skoll Foundation is extremely proud of its social entrepreneurs and partners who have been committed to this region for years. So many of our social entrepreneurs and other civil society organizations work in areas of the world where natural disasters often impede their efforts and endanger their ability to work with the most marginalized populations. The current situation in Pakistan makes that abundantly clear, adding layers of risk and complexity to the lives of millions of people who can afford neither. Though our goal is always to effect sustainable social change, today we are focused on limiting the further marginalization of millions in the flood zones of Pakistan at this critical time.