Millions of Pakistanis struggle to survive six months after floods crisis
February 15, 2012
Islamabad, Feb. 15, 2012 - Six months after floods devastated Sindh and parts of Balochistan province, at least 2.5 million Pakistanis still need help to survive, international and national aid agencies warned in a joint report today.
The coalition of agencies said that a lackluster response from international funders is seriously threatening flooded communities' chances of coping with the next monsoon season and called on the Pakistani government to boost its efforts to limit the impact of future disasters.
Neva Khan, Oxfam’s Country Director in Pakistan, said: “Communities hit by the floods are enduring an exceptionally tough time and the lukewarm response to the crisis isn’t helping. With funds drying up, millions will find it extremely hard to make it through the next few months.”
The report titled “Pakistan floods emergency – Lessons from a continuing disaster,” was iendorsed by the Pakistan Humanitarian Forum, a consortium of 44 international aid agencies based in Pakistan, and an array of international and national non-government organizations. Among them are Oxfam, Save the Children, Care International, Concern Worldwide, Plan International, Action Aid, Islamic Relief and the International Rescue Committee.
The report said the combined efforts of Pakistani officials, donors, UN agencies, NGOs, Pakistanis citizens and affected communities themselves had saved thousands of lives and provided vital assistance to millions of people.
However, at least 2.5 million people are still living without basics such as food, water, shelter, sanitation and healthcare, putting them at serious risk of malnutrition, disease and deepening poverty.
The Floods 2011 Rapid Response Plan launched by the UN on 18 September, 2011, sought $357 million but remains less than 50 percent funded. A few donors, notably the European Commission and the US, have responded generously but the response from many others has been disappointing.
“The needs of the communities affected by the floods are still enormous with women, children, the elderly and disabled particularly vulnerable. The humanitarian community should continue to provide assistance so that flood affected families not only meet their basic needs but can rebuild their lives,” said Áine Fay, Country Director for Concern Worldwide and Chair of the Pakistan Humanitarian Forum.
“Six months on, the crisis seems to have been forgotten by the international community,” said Naseer Memon, Chief Executive of Strengthening Participatory Organization.
See how Oxfam Canada is working to help people in Pakistan.