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Just a few weeks before devastating floods hit Pakistan, Brenda Barton set off to explore a country already battling against poverty and malnutrition. From the stunning Swat Valley, where the flooding began soon after, she headed to Peshawar, where militants (and deadly snakes) are an ever-present threat. After a stop in the teeming metropolis of Lahore, Brenda arrives in Islamabad to commemorate the five staff members killed in the bomb attack on WFP's office last year--and to welcome their colleagues to their new premises.
Brenda starts off her trip in the breathtaking Swat Valley, known as the “Switzerland of Pakistan,” where record monsoon rains in late July unleashed a devastating wave of floods. From there, she heads to the Peshawar Valley where local families risk reprisals by the Taliban to send their daughters to school. As Brenda discovers, armed militants aren't the only danger lurking in this beautiful, but hazardous land.
Brenda visits a specialised food factory in Lahore to see what goes into the high-energy biscuits WFP provides to people in crisis situations. Little did she know that just a few weeks after her visit, these bite-sized meals would be distributed to millions of people across the country following a catastrophic wave of flooding.
Nine months after the suicide bomb attack against WFP's office in Islamabad, Brenda visits the site of the new premises where safety and security are top priorities. From there, she heads to the site of the old office to remember the five staffers who lost their lives that fateful day in October 2009.