Six Months After Pakistan Floods: WASH Concerns Loom Large

Six Months After Pakistan Floods: WASH Concerns Loom Large

Six months since the Pakistan floods, the United Nations has reported that over 10 million people continue to be without access to safe drinking water.

The 2022 monsoon season in Pakistan led to the deadliest floods in the country since 2010. The intensity of the flooding has been attributed to melting glaciers and heavier-than-usual monsoon rains, followed by a severe heat wave. Pakistan’s Minister of Climate Change stated that, in August alone, the southeastern province of Sindh received almost nine times more rainfall than average and the western province of Balochistan received six times more rainfall than average. The government declared a state of emergency on August 25, 2022. 

The flooding affected a total of 33 million people and caused an estimated $30 billion in reconstruction and economic damage. Major concerns center around shelter, food access, clean water, and health. 

The flooding left more than 2.1 million people homeless, and six months later, thousands still reside in camps while they wait for flood waters to recede. Livestock deaths exceed 1.1 million, while the destruction of 1.5m hectares of agricultural fields disrupted food security for 15 million people and led to millions of dollars in critical economic losses for families and communities. The lack of clean drinking water is devastating for health outlooks as contaminated water can increase waterborne diseases, such as diarrhea, cholera, dengue, and malaria. 

The floods have left more than 12,000 reportedly injured, and 1,739 dead.

Airlink transported eco-blankets on behalf of NGO partner, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation. The 16,608 blankets reached 10,416 families.

More than 80,000 people in Sindh Province received health, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), and nutrition support through Airlink shipments on behalf of NGO partner, GlobalMedic.

In the first months of 2023, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has estimated that 4.5 million people are still living near or exposed to standing water that has yet to recede. Further, 2.5 million people continue to lack access to safe drinking water and 7 million women and children are in need of immediate access to nutrition assistance. Healthcare remains a focus, with malaria outbreaks reported in at least 12 districts of Sindh and Balochistan provinces.

The need for assistance continues. The United Nations has reported that, as of late March, over 10 million people continue to be without access to safe drinking water. UNICEF stated in the report that many flood-affected families have “no alternative but to drink and use potentially disease-ridden water.” The 2022 Pakistan Floods Response Plan, issued for a nine-month period from September 2022 through May 2023, has requested US$816 million to provide aid and protection to 9.5 million of the most vulnerable communities in Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab. However, this Response Plan remains only 36% funded. This critical gap in funding will leave already devastated communities in a heightened state of vulnerability as the 2023 monsoons approach. 

Airlink began responding to the flooding in Pakistan following the emergency declaration in late August 2022, holding our first NGO coordination call on September 6. Since then, Airlink has supported flights for eight responders – working on emergency telecommunications, water and sanitation projects, and the distribution of emergency supplies. Further, Airlink has helped move 46.5 metric tons of cargo containing shelter materials, hygiene kits, WASH supplies, and food assistance. Airlink will continue to respond to the needs of the people of Pakistan. 

To read more about Airlink’s response, please reference our Pakistan Floods Response page.

We are grateful to these logistics and airline partners for supporting Airlink’s Pakistan Response: Air Canada, Flexport, Priority Worldwide, Qatar Airways, and Virgin Atlantic. 

Thank you to our donors and individuals like you are helping us support communities in crisis both in Pakistan and around the world. 

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about Airlink’s work in Asia & the Pacific, please reach out to Jenny Torner (jtorner@airlinkflight.org) and Claire Leow (claireleow@airlinkflight.org).

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