Devastating floods in Pakistan: a chance to help twice over

By Minaz Kerawala, Communications and Public Relations Advisor

Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada has allocated $40,000 to help our partner Caritas Pakistan cope with the worst flooding in the country’s history.

We are also calling on Canadians to give generously right now, while the Government of Canada is matching donations dollar for dollar (up to $3 million) until September 28, 2022. We are participating in this Humanitarian Coalition scheme as a member of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

Millions affected; thousands displaced

While Pakistan’s lowlands have been lashed by unusually heavy monsoon rains since June, a heatwave linked to climate change has been rapidly melting glaciers in the highlands. Consequently, one-third of the country was reportedly under water by the end of August.

Across 116 of Pakistan’s 160 districts, international agencies, including the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the World Health Organization (WHO), are reporting that:

  • Over 33 million people have been affected by the flooding
  • About 1,400 people have died and 12,700 have been injured
  • With over 1.72 million houses damaged or destroyed, nearly 800,000 people have been displaced
  • Some 755,000 heads of livestock have been lost
  • Over 6,700 kilometres of roads have been damaged
  • Over 1,460 health facilities have been damaged

The WHO also fears the exacerbation of ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19, diarrhoea, typhoid, measles, leishmaniasis, HIV and polio. Worryingly, the meteorological department is forecasting fresh wet spells over the upper catchments of all major rivers.

Pakistan’s climate change minister, Sherry Rehman, has lamented the injustice of this climate disaster, noting that her country contributes less than one per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, Pakistan is one the ten worst-affected countries in terms of long-term climate risk.

An immediate, effective response

With Development and Peace’s support, Caritas Pakistan will support 13,500 flood-affected households in 17 districts. Over the coming weeks, Caritas Pakistan will provide:

  • Food packages to 4,500 households
  • Hygiene supplies, drinking water and portable toilets to 4,500 households
  • Kitchen and bedding sets to 4,500 households
  • Debris clearing supplies to 1,200 households
  • Health services to 10,000 people through 60 free mobile clinics
  • Educational and psychosocial services to 300 children at six temporary learning centres

Caritas Pakistan will use its long-established community connections, extensive local knowledge and links with the authorities to ensure that these relief efforts are culturally sensitive, well-coordinated and effective and that they reach the most vulnerable households.

It is up to us to step up

To deliver and expand on this response, Caritas Pakistan is counting on our support. Please give generously to help the people of Pakistan. Your donation will be doubled until September 28.

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