Devastating floods in Pakistan
Six months since catastrophic floods struck Pakistan, UNICEF is on the ground working with partners to help children and families.
Six months after unprecedented floods ravaged Pakistan, more than 10 million people living in flood-affected areas remain deprived of safe drinking water, leaving families with no alternative but to drink and use potentially disease-ridden water.
An estimated 20.6 million people, including 9.6 million children, need humanitarian assistance. Many of the hardest-hit districts are amongst the most vulnerable districts in Pakistan, where children already suffer from high malnutrition, poor access to water and sanitation and low school enrollment.
Frail, hungry, children are fighting a losing battle against severe acute malnutrition, diarrhea, 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 will continue to respond to urgent humanitarian needs, while also restoring and rehabilitating existing health, water, sanitation and education facilities for families returning home. But much more support 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:
It will take months, if not years, for families to recover from the sheer scale of the devastation. The floods affected 33 million people, while more than 1,700 lives were lost and more than 2.2 million houses damaged or destroyed. The floods damaged most of the water systems in affected areas, forcing more than 5.4 million people, including 2.5 million children, to rely solely on contaminated water from ponds and wells.
Unsafe water and poor sanitation are key underlying causes of malnutrition. The associated diseases, such as diarrhea, prevent children from getting the vital nutrients they need. Malnourished children are also more susceptible to waterborne diseases due to already weakened immune systems, which perpetuates a vicious cycle of malnutrition and infection.
So much of the vital infrastructure that children so rely on has been destroyed and damaged – including thousands of schools and public health facilities. An estimated 3.5 million children, especially girls, are at high risk of permanently dropping out of school.
Climate-related crises will not affect everyone equally. Children will suffer more than adults, with those in the poorest communities bearing the biggest burden.
How UNICEF is supporting children in Pakistan
UNICEF is doing everything it 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.
UNICEF has been on the ground with partners since the first day of the climate-induced emergency. Immediately following the floods, UNICEF installed numerous handpumps and water storage facilities. In the past six months, UNICEF and partners have provided safe drinking water to nearly 1.2 million children and families and distributed hygiene kits to more than 1.3 million people. UNICEF also supported the rehabilitation or rebuilding of water supply facilities benefiting more than 450,000 people.
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.