Devastating floods in Pakistan
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 almost 10 million children in need of immediate, lifesaving support, and at increased risk of waterborne diseases, drowning and malnutrition.
Hundreds of thousands of homes have been damaged or destroyed, while many public health facilities, water systems and schools have been destroyed or damaged. As the floodwaters have receded, the crisis has become an acute child survival crisis. Frail, hungry, children are fighting a losing battle against severe acute malnutrition, diarrhoea, malaria, dengue fever, typhoid, acute respiratory infections, and painful skin conditions. As well as physical ailments, the longer the crisis continues, the greater the risk to children’s mental health.
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.
We need your urgent support to help save lives.
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. Some major rivers breached their banks and dams overflowed, destroying homes, farms and critical infrastructure including roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and public health facilities.
Damage to water supply systems and sanitation facilities has resulted in millions of people no longer having access to safe drinking water. Despite UNICEF delivering clean water, many families have had no alternative but to drink disease-ridden water. They are now bearing the brunt of deadly water-borne diseases.
Meanwhile, more than 1 in 9 children under five admitted to health facilities in flood-affected areas of Sindh and Balochistan have been found to be suffering from severe acute malnutrition, a life-threatening condition where children are too thin for their height, resulting in weakened immune systems.
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. UNICEF has established more than 200 temporary learning centres to help children cope with trauma and resume a routine.
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.
Read more about UNICEF’s work in emergencies and its latest humanitarian appeal to support conflict- and disaster-affected children with access to water, sanitation, nutrition, education, health and protection services.