SOUTH ASIA Pakistan
A girl sleeps beside a flooded field in Shaheed Benazirabad District, in Sindh Province. Amid ongoing political strife, heavy monsoon rains have devastated the country for the second consecutive year, affecting 5.4 million people.
Children and Women in Crisis
In 2011, an estimated 5.4 million people in Pakistan were affected by floods that ravaged the country in the wake of heavy monsoon rains.1 Some 1.8 million people were displaced as homes were swept away and livelihoods lost.2 The devastation left around 2 million children and 1.7 million women vulnerable to diseases, undernutrition, abuse and exploitation.3 With 40 million people living in poverty,4 recovery from such natural disasters is hampered. In northwestern Pakistan, nearly 950,000 people (126,224 families) remain displaced, residing either in displacement camps or in host areas.5
Given the occurrence of devastating floods for two years in a row, disaster risk reduction activities for flooded areas are essential. The scale of the disasters affecting Pakistan, the frequent population movements, ongoing strife and an insufficient number of implementing partners continue to pose serious challenges to humanitarian relief efforts in the country.
Meeting Urgent Needs in 2012
UNICEF is the cluster lead in WASH and nutrition, co-lead in education and lead in the child protection sub-cluster6 in Pakistan. In 2012, UNICEF will work with the Government of Pakistan, other UN agencies and NGOs to respond to the needs of the millions of children and women affected by the floods of 2010 and 2011 and the 950,000 displaced due to conflict.
- More than 2.8 million children under 5 will be vaccinated against preventable childhood diseases, including measles and polio. More than 260,000 pregnant or breastfeeding women and an estimated 83,000 newborns will be provided with life-saving interventions and essential health services.
- More than 1.2 million children 6–59 months old and 800,000 pregnant or breastfeeding women will be provided nutrition services, including micronutrient supplementation, screening, outpatient and clinical treatments, and education on infant feeding and hygiene.
- UNICEF will provide 1.5 million people with access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities and promote healthy hygiene practices in order to reduce vulnerability to preventable diseases.
- Nearly 319,000 children will be provided with educational opportunities at protective learning spaces and transitional school structures. UNICEF will also support child friendly schooling, teacher training and the provision of necessary school supplies.
- More than 399,000 children, adolescents and women will benefit from protective learning and care services, including psychosocial support, recreation activities, non-formal education and gender-based violence prevention programmes. UNICEF will also distribute information on HIV prevention to 29,000 at-risk women.
Humanitarian Funding at Work: Highlights from 2011
In 2011, UNICEF estimated that US$104,359,947 was needed for its humanitarian work in Pakistan. As of end October 2011, US$16,247,179 had been received, or 16 per cent of the goal. With that funding, UNICEF quickly responded to devastating floods that struck the country in 2010 and again in late 2011. In flood-affected areas, sanitation facilities were improved for nearly 3 million people and safe drinking water was provided to approximately 2 million people. A hygiene promotion campaign reached more than 1.7 million people.
UNICEF improved the health of millions of children, distributing more than 183,000 antigens and vitamin A supplementation to at-risk children, providing 2.5 million doses of measles vaccines and 2.5 million doses of polio vaccines, and treating some 400,000 acutely malnourished children.
In conflict-affected areas, UNICEF vaccinated 3.7 million children against polio and provided vitamin A supplements for 4.2 million children. More than 200,000 people received safe drinking water and nearly 120,000 acutely malnourished children were treated. Approximately 205,000 children received education services, while an additional 56,000 children and 22,000 at-risk women were supported by protection services.
Funding Requirements for 2012
In 2012, UNICEF is requesting US$88,400,000 for humanitarian action in Pakistan.7 This funding will provide critical support to women and children in both flood- and conflict-affected regions. Underfunding will greatly increase the vulnerability of displaced children and women to potentially fatal diseases, undernutrition and social protection risks.
1 United Nations, 'Multi-sector Needs Assessment 2011-Pakistan', presentation, UN, 30 November 2011, p.10, http://pakresponse.info/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=CraH1C3PyWQ%3d&tabid=41&mid=597, accessed 12 December 2011.
2 Ibid., p. 11.
3 Ibid., p. 11.
4 Ibid., p. 3.
5 Government of Pakistan FATA Disaster Management Authority, ‘FATA IDPs Statistics’, FATA Disaster Management Authority, Peshawar, Pakistan, http://fdma.gov.pk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30&Itemid=27, accessed 20 November 2011.
6 The humanitarian clusters of WASH, nutrition, education and protection are operational in KP, FATA; the early recovery thematic working groups are operational in the areas affected by the 2010 floods; and the WASH cluster and the nutrition, education and child protection working groups are operational in the areas affected by the 2011 floods.
7 This includes the US$50.3 million requested by UNICEF in the inter-agency Pakistan Floods Rapid Response Plan launched on 18 September 2011 for September 2011–March 2012.