Floods in Pakistan have washed away entire villages. More than 3 million people have been left homeless and lost all their belongings. Children can no longer go to school, since more than 20,000 schools are unusable. July of this year brought the heaviest month of rainfall in almost 30 years. The damage is already much greater than in 2010, which was the last major flooding disaster in Pakistan.
Pakistan experiences flood of the century
This year's exceptionally heavy monsoon rains have had catastrophic consequences for millions of people, with over 1,600 deaths already reported. In the south of the country, entire areas flooded. Some villages are no longer accessible because the roads have been washed away. Countless fields have also been destroyed by the floods, endangering people's livelihoods.
People lack almost everything. The greatest needs for those affected are food, drinking water, emergency shelter and emergency medical care. Essential goods such as mosquito nets, cooking utensils or blankets are in also short supply.
Video: Dr. Arjumand Nizam, Country Director for Helvetas Pakistan, shares insights on Pakistan's ongoing state of emergency.
How Helvetas is providing emergency aid in Pakistan
We have been active in Pakistan for over 40 years and are well-networked across the country. Helvetas provides immediate help in acute emergencies. Thanks to close cooperation with the authorities, seven drinking water treatment plants have been installed so far, and we are planning to install an additional 65 plants. These plants will provide safe drinking water to thousands of people.
Floods are a regular occurrence in Pakistan, and they repeatedly threaten people's livelihoods. But what Pakistan is experiencing this year is even more extreme than in past monsoon years. The current need for relief supplies far exceeds the relief efforts already in place. The government has therefore already appealed for international support.
Helvetas is helping quickly and directly through our dedicated team and strong partners on the ground. We are distributing food and hygiene kits with soap, washing powder and mosquito nets to people whose homes and belongings have been destroyed, providing local health stations with emergency medical kits, and setting up emergency drinking water supplies for thousands of people.
What is needed now is effective humanitarian aid that ensures people's survival and enables them to cope with the consequences of the flood disaster.