Emergency Relief Coordinator’s Key Messages on Pakistan, 26 September 2011 - Issue Number 13
I. Key Messages
Widespread flooding in Pakistan has caused a major humanitarian emergency, but the situation has not received sufficient international attention. At least 5.4 million people need help, and the number is growing. In some areas of Sindh, humanitarian needs are approaching the levels of 2010. This crisis requires an urgent response.
The impact of this year’s flooding cannot be seen in isolation. In 2010, 18 million people were affected by the largest floods in living memory, and they have not recovered. Levels of food insecurity and malnutrition were already at emergency levels before this year’s rains.
The immediate humanitarian priorities are food, health care and shelter. In Sindh, the hardest hit province, 1.6 million acres of crops have been lost this year; following the destruction of 2.5 million acres in 2010, and WFP plans to feed almost 3 million people, particularly mothers and children, for four to six months. More than 1.8 million people are living in makeshift camps, without proper sanitation or access to safe drinking water. We must work to prevent outbreaks of cholera, malaria and dengue fever.
Even as we focus on saving lives now, we need to support long-term agriculture and livestock programmes to help people recover. More than 80 per cent of the people affected rely directly and indirectly upon agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods.
The United Nations and its partners are supporting Government-led efforts to address this crisis.
The United Nations worked with national and provincial authorities to conduct the rapid needs assessments that formed the basis of the US $357 million flash appeal. More detailed assessments are underway.
The Flash Appeal has received US $27 million, or 8 per cent of what is needed. This is inadequate. We cannot let the Pakistani people down.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.