Unprecedented rainfall and flooding in Pakistan has affected 116 districts throughout the country, resulting in nearly 1,000 deaths and over 1,300 people injured reported since June 14, 2022. 72 of the affected areas are considered by the government to be “calamity hit.” Humanity & Inclusion is closely following the situation and launching an emergency intervention to support families displaced by the flooding.
The humanitarian situation
Initial estimates show that incessant rainfall has impacted approximately 33 million people, destroyed more than 287,000 homes, damaged another 662,000, and displaced an undetermined number of families. At writing, 6.4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. Humanity & Inclusion teams are present in Pakistan, and preparing immediate, two-month interventions in the regions of Nowshera and Charsadda.
“In situations like this, where flooding has displaced thousands of families, we can be sure that the people experiencing the most extreme impacts will be older and people with disabilities," says Caroline Duconseille, Humanity & Inclusion's country manager in Pakistan. "These groups, in particular, will face more obstacles traversing rising water and reaching humanitarian aid. It is paramount that response efforts are inclusive and accessible to everyone.”
According to the United Nations, around 73% of affected households currently have insufficient access to food. At least 793,900 livestock have died and 2 million acres of famland have been damaged, with the potential to impact long-term food security following the flooding.
Infrastructure damage has been observed at 17,000 schools, across 3,500 km of roads, several thousand health facilities, and more than 145 bridges.
Pakistan experiences regular natural disasters, including a similar catastrophic flooding event that impacted around 20 million people, causing devastating and lasting consequences in 2010.
A rise in extreme meteorological events, driven by climate change, is expected to displace up to 1.2 billion people worldwide by the year 2050.
Humanity & Inclusion response
Staff will distribute food and basic household goods such as hygiene supplies, blankets and kitchen items. This first intervention will reach 600 families displaced by the flooding. The organization is also deploying psychological first aid teams to assess the needs of people displaced from their homes, and provide assistance (directly or through referral) in coordination with national authorities.
“We’re seeing families that have lost absolutely everything and are living amid floodwaters," says Duconseille. "Our initial focus is meeting the most urgent needs of impacted communities, including access to food and daily essentials such as soap, cooking supplies and warm blankets.”
Humanity & Inclusion is exploring the possibility of expanding the response to include more districts, as well as services. Any such expansion is dependent on funding and community needs. The organization has just launched a public fundraising appeal: https://www.hi-us.org/pakistan?form=pakistan-floods.
Action in Pakistan since the 1980s
Humanity & Inclusion has worked in Pakistan since the early 1980s, having implemented humanitarian projects across multiple districts.
Pakistan is increasingly and regularly hit by natural disasters. In 2010, emergency teams responded to flooding across the northwest of the country-a disaster that affected more than 20 million people. The response included emergency kit distributions and provisions of drinking water.
In Pakistan today, Humanity & Inclusion's 31-person team leads projects around inclusive education, health and prevention, relief and inclusive disaster risk management, technical assistance support for disability focused organizations, and women’s empowerment.
Image: Floods victims wade through flood water after flash flood in Matiari, Sindh province, Pakistan on August 29, 2022. © Shakeel Ahmad / Anadolu Agency / AFP