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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Millions tune in to Pakistan lifeline through BBC Urdu service

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.

Highlights from Monday's – 9 August – first day of programmes included:

Updates on affected flood areas – from food distributions to weather forecasts
Testimonies from displaced people
A spotlight on relief efforts
Hero of the day
An interview with Pakistan 's President Zardari

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.

Notes to Editors

For further information or requests for interview please contact Damian Wilson at the BBC World Service Trust at damian.wilson@bbc.co.uk

BBC World Service Publicity

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