Pakistan Floods Emergency: Lessons from a continuing crisis



The floods that began in August 2011 and swept across the province of Sindh and parts of neighbouring Balochistan resulted in one of the most destructive disasters that Pakistan has experienced. More than five million people have been affected: 1.8 million people were left homeless and more than 2.2 million acres of crops were lost, resulting in agricultural losses of nearly $2 billion.

Supported by private and institutional donors, Pakistani officials, military personnel, aid workers, volunteers and the affected communities themselves have together saved thousands of lives and ensured that vital aid has reached millions of men, women and children. Such efforts deserve recognition.

Six months after the floods began, however, the crisis is far from over. In total, more than 2.5 million men, women and children lack basic necessities such as adequate food and durable shelter. Most people who have returned home are still living in makeshift shelters, struggling to keep their families alive and healthy. The threat of hunger, malnutrition, disease and destitution continues to hang over them.