PAKISTAN: 6 MONTHS ON
Six months after floods damaged and washed away homes and livelihoods in north-western Pakistan, the emergency is far from over. Millions of people are still in urgent need of humanitarian aid and funding for early recovery projects to help rebuild their lives.
The floods were the worst in history, triggered by unusually heavy monsoon rains and affecting an estimated 18 million people. Homes, farmland, health clinics, power stations, roads and water supply systems were destroyed. Following continued rainfall, rivers breached their banks and the floods gradually moved from north to south along the Indus River. Floodwater still remains in parts of Sindh Province where roads were submerged and dozens of bridges swept away.
Recent relief efforts have provided over 300,000 students with educational support through school rehabilitation and temporary learning centres, in response to widespread damage to nearly 10,000 schools. Over 500,000 households have received seeds and fertilizer for the winter planting season as two million hectares of crops were destroyed in the floods. Some 300,000 households are targeted to receive livestock support after an estimated 450,000 livestock were lost. Of the some 1.7 million homes that were destroyed or damaged, nearly 865,000 households have received emergency shelter.
However, only 56% of the required $1.96 billion one-year emergency response funding has thus far been received. Concerns remain about damaged health facilities and the potential outbreak of epidemics. Millions of people are still in need of food assistance, safe drinking water, and emergency shelter, especially in Sindh. For long-term recovery, the Government of Pakistan and the humanitarian community in the country view reviving agriculture and providing employment opportunities as some forthcoming challenges. Stepping up early recovery activities to support long-term reconstruction is essential, and it is vital that the floods in Pakistan do not become a forgotten crisis.