More than 6.4 million people in Pakistan are in dire need of humanitarian aid as the devastating floods continue to wreak havoc in the country, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.
As the floods continue to wreak havoc in the country, Pakistan’s government has declared the floods a national emergency, with 66 districts declared to be a “calamity hit.” Over 1,100 people, including over 350 children, have lost their lives.
More than 1,600 people have been injured and over 2,87,000 houses have been fully destroyed. Besides this, over 7,35,000 livestock have perished and 2 million acres of crops have been adversely impacted.
The heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan which started in mid-July 2022 are continuing in many parts of the country and have affected 116 districts (75 per cent) out of 154 districts in Pakistan. The most affected province is Sindh, followed by Balochistan,” the WHO said in a report.
“As of 25 August 2022, 33+ million people have been affected. 6.4+ million people are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 421 000 refugees. Over a thousand lives have been lost and almost 15000 people injured,” the UN agency added. According to WHO, health facilities in the country have been severely affected by the unprecedented flood situation.
As of August 28, 2022, 888 health facilities have been damaged in the country of which 180 of them are completely damaged. Access to health facilities, health care workers, and essential medicines and medical supplies remain the main health challenges for now,” the WHO said. The global health body said the country’s health system is already battling multiple concurrent health threats including COVID-19, and outbreaks of cholera, typhoid, measles, leishmaniasis and HIV.
Even before the current floods, there was a significant disparity in access to health services between rural and urban areas. The current situation will highly likely increase the spread of disease especially if/when response capacities are hindered.
On Tuesday, the “2022 Pakistan Floods Response Plan (FRP)” was jointly launched by the Government of Pakistan and the United Nations, simultaneously in Islamabad and Geneva, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said.
The FRP is being launched against the backdrop of devastating rains, floods and landslides that have impacted more than 33 million people in different parts of Pakistan, OCHA said in a statement.
The United States has also announced an additional USD 30 million in life-saving humanitarian assistance to support people and communities affected by severe flooding in Pakistan. The United States is deeply saddened by the devastating loss of life, livelihoods, and homes throughout Pakistan.
In response to the Pakistani government’s request for assistance, the United States will prioritize urgently needed food support, safe water, sanitation and hygiene improvements, financial help, and shelter assistance,” the US Embassy in Pakistan said in a statement. (ANI