August 29, 2022, Islamabad, Pakistan — The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is responding to devastating floods in Pakistan which have hit almost 33 million people and killed more than 1,000. Since mid-June, the monsoons have destroyed 3,000 kilometers of road, 130 bridges and 495,000 homes. Sindh and Balochistan provinces have seen 784% and 500% more rains than average with even more Monsoon rains anticipated in the coming weeks. With more than 4 million acres of crops damaged and almost 800,000 livestock killed, the IRC is anticipating a sharp increase in food insecurity and a severe impact on the economy. 

Displaced families living under open sky

A rapid needs assessment conducted by IRC and Medical Emergency & Resilience Foundation (MERF) in Pakistan found that:

  • 87% of respondents reported that women and girls don’t have safe latrine facilities and 84% don’t have access to necessary hygiene supplies 
  • 71% reported their community does not have access to sufficient and clean drinking water 
  • 63% reported that pregnant and lactating women were extremely vulnerable
  • 60% of respondents said their community is not safe 
  • 30 to 40% of respondents said they do not have access to critical healthcare

 The IRC is calling for a quick mobilization of resources to help IRC and other aid organizations respond urgently to reach those most in need.
Shabnam Baloch, Pakistan Country Director at the IRC, said,
“Pakistan has been facing increasingly devastating climate-induced drought and flooding. Despite producing less than 1% of the world’s carbon footprint, the country is suffering the consequences of the world’s inaction and stays in the top 10 countries facing the consequences. Now, more than 30 million people, including many Afghan refugees, need our urgent help. Our needs assessment showed that we are already seeing a major increase in cases of diarrhea, skin infections, malaria and other illnesses. The IRC has reached almost 20,000 people with critical food, supplies and medical support. We are urgently requesting donors to step up their support and help us save lives.”

Floodwater overflooding the road

Flooding in Afghanistan has also brought widespread devastation in central and eastern provinces of the country in the midst of an on-going drought and worsening humanitarian crisis. Over 180 people have been killed and upwards of 3300 homes have been destroyed. Many of the areas impacted by this month’s flooding were hit by a devastating earthquake in June that killed over 1000 people. IRC Afghanistan has deployed emergency response teams to affected provinces and are providing cash support to families who have lost their livelihoods, and water and hygiene kits to flood-affected households. 

The IRC has been working in Pakistan since 1980 providing critical humanitarian aid to those most in need, including many Afghan refugees.