Flooding in Pakistan: Six months waiting for water to recede, alert relief agencies |

Nearly eight million people have been displaced by the disaster, and the United Nations, along with authorities and partners, continue to race to reach affected populations with much-needed relief supplies.

The southern province of Sindh is still in a state of crisis, with many areas still under water.

To date, more than 1,500 people have been killed, including 552 children.

“We there’s not enough food, we don’t have a place to live, and even the kind of health care needed isn’t available“Gerida Birukila said, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Pakistan’s chief of staff in Balochistan, one of the worst-hit provinces.

Roads and bridges washed away

In a new appeal for international support, UNICEF staff described scenes of despair.

“Roads and bridges have been washed away; I just came back from the field and the water is not going anywhere“Miss Birukila continued, speaking via Zoom from Quetta.

As was feared, Life-threatening illness and disease are now widespread in displaced communitiesincluding cerebral malaria, there is currently no cure.

Please, give me some clothes

No shelter… people don’t even have clothes,” continued Mrs. Birukila. “A woman asked me, ‘Please, give me a set of clothes, I ran away two weeks ago.’ She’s still wearing the same old dress she wore two weeks ago because she can’t change. You just run with what you have on your back.”

Addressing the deep concerns of first responders, the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCRrecorded that 7.6 million people in Pakistan were displaced by floods, with nearly 600,000 people living in relief zones.

Flood victims collect emergency supplies in Balochistan province, southwestern Pakistan.

© UNHCR / Humera Karim

Flood victims collect emergency supplies in Balochistan province, southwestern Pakistan.

Great Aid Activity

The United Nations agency coordinated the logistics as part of a plan to deliver more than 1.2 million relief items to local governments in the areas hardest hit by the floods. To date, it has delivered over a million lifesaving items to the authorities for distribution.

“Many parts of the country, especially in the southern province of Sindh, underwater, as well as… parts of eastern BalochistanUNHCR spokesman, Babar Baloch, added that officials have warned that it could take up to “six months for floodwaters to recede” in the worst-affected areas.

Afghans in danger zone

There are also concerns about Pakistan’s 1.3 million registered Afghan refugees; An estimated 800,000 people live in more than 45 “disaster” districts out of 80 affected locations, UNHCR said, noting that four of the worst-affected districts are in Balochistan, Khyber province. Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh are home to the highest number of refugees.

To help them, UNHCR and partners have provided emergency cash assistance to hundreds of vulnerable refugee families, in addition to the Government’s monsoon response.

“People are being displaced. They’re looking out and they’re just telling you, ‘That used to be my home, this used to be school“but what you can see is just water and water,” said UNICEF’s Birukila.

Floods inundate Balochistan province, Pakistan.

United Nations News / Shirin Yaseen

Floods inundate Balochistan province, Pakistan.

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