Devastating floods in Pakistan

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UNICEF is on the ground working with partners to help children and families.

Torrential monsoon rains triggered the most severe flooding in Pakistan’s recent history, washing away villages and leaving around 3.4 million children in need of assistance and at increased risk of waterborne diseases, drowning and malnutrition. UNICEF

As floodwaters slowly recede, the sheer scale of damage is being revealed. Hundreds of thousands of homes have been damaged or destroyed, while many public health facilities, water systems and schools have been destroyed or damaged. Young children are living out in the open with their families, with no drinking water, no food, and no livelihood, exposed to a wide range of new flood-related risks and hazards, including from damaged buildings and drowning in floodwaters.

UNICEF is responding with the Government and partners, helping to deliver safe drinking water; lifesaving medical supplies; therapeutic food supplies; and hygiene kits to children and families. We are also establishing temporary learning centres and supporting the protection and psychosocial wellbeing of children affected by these devastating floods.

But much more is needed to ensure we can reach all families displaced by floods and help them overcome this climate disaster.

What is happening?

Around 33 million people, including approximately 16 million children, have been affected by this year’s heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan, which have brought devastating rains, floods and landslides. As many as 7 million people have been temporarily displaced. Some major rivers breached their banks and dams have overflowed, destroying homes, farms and critical infrastructure including roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and public health facilities.

Thousands of schools across the country have been damaged or destroyed due to the floods, compounding the disruption to learning many children experienced during COVID-19 pandemic school closures. Outbreaks of watery diarrhoea, typhoid and malaria are increasing as millions of people sleep in temporary shelters or in the open near stagnating water.

Many of the hardest-hit areas are amongst the most vulnerable in Pakistan, where children already suffer from high rates of malnutrition, and poor access to water and sanitation.

Climate-related crises will not affect everyone equally. Children will suffer more than adults, with those in the poorest communities bearing the biggest burden.

Help save and protect children in Pakistan

UNICEF is doing everything we can to support children and families affected and protect them from the ongoing dangers of waterborne diseases, malnutrition and protection risks. UNICEF is on the ground with partners, delivering life-saving medical and other emergency supplies to support children and women affected by the floods.

Using pre-positioned emergency supplies, UNICEF has delivered immediate emergency services and supplies. These include drinking water, water purification tablets, hygiene kits, medicines, vaccines, therapeutic nutritional supplements for children, pregnant and lactating women, and mosquito nets. Meanwhile, dozens of mobile health clinics are providing lifesaving assistance to displaced populations.

UNICEF also wants to help children resume learning and will support the Government to reestablish critical services for children as soon as possible.

In these difficult times, your support can save lives. Your contribution can help UNICEF reach more children and families with critical, urgent and life-saving supplies.

UNICEF in emergencies

UNICEF is on the ground before, during, and after emergencies, working to reach children and families with lifesaving aid and long-term assistance. At the onset of an emergency – whether it’s a conflict or a natural disaster – UNICEF is capable of delivering pre-positioned life-saving supplies within 72 hours from a network of supply hubs around the world. Pre-positioned supplies are essential items that are ready to be deployed from strategic locations at any moment, to bring timely relief to an emergency anywhere in the world.

But the work does not stop at delivery. UNICEF works with partners to ensure assistance continues to have a positive impact in the long term, so that children can hope to enjoy healthy lives and fulfill their dreams.

In emergencies, children suffer first, and most.

When a sudden onset emergency such as an earthquake or hurricane strikes, it’s children who suffer first and suffer most. As well as the immediate, devastating impacts – loss of life, destruction of homes and communities – the chaos of an emergency can threaten access to food, shelter and social support. Children and mothers are often cut off from basic and essential care, including life-saving medicines and supplies. The risk of malnutrition soars. Shattered infrastructure means families can lose access to adequate sanitation and hygiene facilities, leaving children even more susceptible to waterborne diseases. The destruction of schools means children can lose safety and routine. Without access to education, they risk losing their futures.

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