Floods Still Devastating Pakistan in New Ways
This summer, Pakistan faced the worst floods in its history, affecting over 20 million people. Before the flood waters receded, WLP launched a global appeal in support of our Pakistani partner, the Aurat Foundation, and its Motherland Flood Relief Campaign.
The next several months will be critical to stemming the number of flood-related deaths and confronting the grave issue of food security. The floodwaters wiped out huge swaths of agricultural land that provided basic staples of rice and wheat to the population. Seeds, livestock and equipment were destroyed. In the huge provinces of Sindh and Punjab, roughly 90% of cropland has been lost.
In Sindh alone more than 1.5 million people were forced from their homes. Most do not have resources to buy food and the coming winter poses an additional serious threat.
The Aurat campaign is providing critical humanitarian assistance throughout the country to the flood's most vulnerable victims—women, children, and the elderly. Aurat has presence in all of Pakistan's 110 districts and has been able to reach some flooded communities that international aid workers could not due to security concerns.
Within days, WLP partners lent their support to our appeal by translating it into various languages, disseminating it across their networks, posting it to partner websites and raising funds. The appeal was made available in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish and disseminated through various social networks (see various language versions of our Urgent Appeal for Pakistan Flood Funds). External organizations and media sites circulated WLP's appeal as well, including the Association for Women in Development (AWID) and the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), among others.
World media spotlighted the flood's devastation in the first several weeks following the disaster, but international interest in the great need that persists has fallen off since then. The serious long-term impact of the floods has been largely absent from public discourse.
Therefore, WLP will continue to support Aurat as it provides flood relief to Pakistan's most vulnerable as their needs change and grow over the next several months, possibly years. We ask our friends to do the same.
Highlights from the Field:
- Field workers have conducted extensive studies of flood-related damage in various villages, allowing Aurat to use resources strategically and target areas with the greatest need. The Lahore office alone has provided over 1,000 families with basic necessities such as flour, sugar, cooking oil, and soap, and provided over 400 women with clothing.
- A group of Aurat volunteers visited one of the many tent cities that have sprung up as families fled the devastated regions. Volunteers visited each family, providing them with milk and information on ways to keep the camps more sanitary in order to prevent disease. Volunteers also spent some time playing sports with the girls and boys.
- In Balochistan, Aurat volunteers cared for and ultimately reunited two young boys with their parents, after they had become separated from their family during the floods.
- Throughout the country, Aurat has provided displaced flood victims with Eid gifts, including food, clothing, and some sweets for children. In one instance, a father emotionally recounted that, although the situation is enormously difficult, this was the first Eid that his children received the traditional gifts, and he will never forget the kindness of the volunteers.