International Community Must Step Up Response to Pakistan Floods as Needs Continue to Grow
As the UN launches a new $816 million funding appeal to help Pakistan recover from the devastating floods, Islamic Relief Australia is urging international donors to give generously and ensure that funds and humanitarian assistance reach affected communities quickly.
A series of new Islamic Relief assessments carried out in the hardest-hit areas of Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) sees alarming results for the future of Pakistan if the needs of flood victims are not met amidst the worsening emergency.
Three-quarters of people in Pakistan still do not have access to safe drinking water.
The assessments observed that 73% of people still lack access to clean water, with 80% of water sources in some areas having been contaminated. Tens of thousands of people are now affected by water-borne diseases including diarrhoea, malaria, typhoid, acute respiratory infections and skin and eye infections. Areas that are still underwater are also seeing a rise in dengue fever.
Worse still is how the floods have damaged 2,000 health facilities, leaving a rising number of vulnerable people without support or medical aid. Shortages of clean water and soap mean have also decreased the number of usable sanitation facilities, as only 27% of people in Pakistan are able to wash themselves thoroughly. Women and girls are especially at risk due to this lack of availability, as a limited amount of privacy or safe places leaves them at increasing risk of harassment and abuse.
Poverty increases as floods continue to destroy homes and livelihoods.
In some areas, almost half of the people surveyed have lost their jobs since the floods. 74% of farmers’ vegetable crops have been damaged and small businesses are struggling to recover because of the damage to roads and bridges which is restricting access to markets.
Over 34,000 homes in flood-affected districts have also perished. In Balochistan alone, over 150,000 people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, and across all regions, thousands of vulnerable people are facing internal displacement.
The needs on the ground remain enormous as Pakistan sees no end to the flash floods.
Massive reconstruction is needed across the country after billions of dollars worth of damage to houses, farms, schools, roads, hospitals, water networks, sanitation systems and other vital infrastructure. Millions of people are in desperate need of sustained support to rebuild their lives and livelihoods.
Asif Sherazi, Islamic Relief’s Country Director in Pakistan, says: “International attention is fading away but families are still living in the open and winter is fast approaching, when the bitter cold will bring new suffering for many families. The international response so far has helped save lives but the needs on the ground are far bigger than anything we have seen before. International donors need to show greater urgency and make sure that the funds reach organisations who are on the frontlines of the response, including local Pakistani organisations.”
Islamic Relief is also calling on the world to go beyond emergency aid and commit to addressing the devastating effects of climate change on Pakistan. A global finance facility that grants debt relief to Pakistan and allows the country to focus its resources on vital repairs and rebuilding, as well as improve its climate change resistance.
Help support the relief and recovery efforts underway in Pakistan.
Islamic Relief is focused on helping communities recover from the disaster as quickly as possible to ensure that vulnerable people do not continue to suffer the terrifying impact of the flash floods. Our plans include providing cash grants to families in the most flood-affected areas, which they can use as they wish to cover their most essential needs. Our teams are also working with the local government to support relief efforts.
Islamic Relief has now reached more than 400,000 people across Pakistan with essential aid, including providing clean water, constructing new lavatories, hygiene kits and handwashing stations, as well as supporting people with shelter, food, cash and education. Together, we have raised more than $25 million for its response, and we thank supporters of our flood relief efforts from around the world for your incredible generosity and kindness.
Without access to this urgent aid, flood victims in Pakistan remain at even more risk due to the worsening situation. That’s why, with your help, we can save thousands of lives by responding to their ongoing and immediate needs.
We need your help to save thousands of lives at risk in Pakistan
Islamic Relief is focused on helping affected communities recover from the disaster as quickly as possible. Our emergency teams are on the ground right now, working in local communities to establish how best to support affected families, who urgently need food, shelter, bedding, and hygiene items.