Responding to the pressing humanitarian needs of flood-ravaged Pakistan, experienced aid worker, Ted Itani, is in the Asian country to lead a team from the International Red Cross in assessing the situation on the ground and mobilizing funding for the much-needed relief operations.
The 72-year-old husband of popular Ottawa writer Frances Itani has long spent his professional life doing peacekeeping work and disaster relief. Itani served 37 years in the Canadian military and also worked for the Pearson Peacekeeping Center. He has offered help to disaster-stricken countries such as Sri Lanka during the 2004 Asian tsunami, Pakistan during the 2005 earthquake, and the Caribbean nations at the height of strong hurricanes, Ottawa Citizen reports.
Having experienced the dangers of doing humanitarian work, Itani is aware of the “volatile and unpredictable” security situation that awaits him in Pakistan. But none of the threats put him off.
“I feel good, because I know the country,” he said. “I know the people I’ll be working with, and I’m looking forward to it.”