Millions tune in to Pakistan lifeline

Millions in Pakistan began tuning in to emergency lifeline radio programming yesterday, as BBC Urdu launched a new service to people in the most severely flooded areas of the country.

Special programmes will be broadcast each day in Urdu at 12.30, 15.30 and 18.30 and in Pashto at 12.45, 15.45 and 18.45 (local times).

Each transmits crucial up-to-date information to the hundreds of thousands of people currently cut off from humanitarian aid.

Speaking from Pakistan, the BBC Urdu service’s Shafi Naqi Jamie says: “We provide the millions whose lives and homes have been destroyed with a radio lifeline. Listeners hear about where to get food and shelter and how best to survive. But as important, by establishing a platform for people’s voices and stories, we aim to rebuild a sense of community and morale as well.”

With the crisis increasingly affecting the south of the country, the BBC Urdu’s programme will be broadcast on up to 34 partner stations, reaching over 60 million people.

The infoasaid lifeline service has been developed by BBC World Service Trust and Internews, with funding from the UK’s Department for International Development.

infoasaid aims to improve how humanitarian agencies communicate with disaster affected communities. The emphasis is on the need to deliver information, as aid itself, through the most appropriate channels.

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