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Pakistan’s Flood Survivors Could Remain Displaced for Six Months

Given the increasing impact of the flooding in Pakistan’s Sindh and Punjab provinces, resulting in even more mass evacuations, it is expected that some entire communities will not be able to return home for a minimum of three and up to six months.

This forecast comes as Pakistan’s government now estimates that more than 1.2 million homes have been damaged or destroyed since the “super flood” began in late July.

The Pakistan Red Crescent Society with support from international teams, including the American Red Cross, plans to meet the basic shelter needs of almost 600,000 people in coming months, while helping to restore 45,000 homes by providing clean up kits as well as shelter-building kits.

Although floodwaters have begun to recede in some areas, it is still not safe to return to most of the affected communities leaving tens of thousands of people to rely on aid organizations for basic relief items, clean water and livelihood support. Because of the immediate action from the Pakistan Red Crescent Society:

  • Nearly 469,000 people have already received food items while 199,000 have received supplies, such as tents, tarps, blankets and mosquito nets.
  • More than 94,000 people have benefited from Red Cross and Red Crescent efforts to provide purification tablets and clear water for their communities.
  • More than 81,500 people have received medical services to treat diarrhea as well as respiratory and skin infections caused by the flooding.

In addition to leaving hundreds of thousands of people without homes and basic necessities, their ability to work and provide for their families has also been lost to the floods. Agriculture is the principal means of support for approximately 80 percent of those affected by the floods. And in another cruel twist of fate, the disaster struck at an especially disastrous time for Pakistan’s farmers, just prior to the rice, maize, vegetable and sugarcane harvests and the winter wheat planting season. Reportedly, more than 1 million tons of wheat stored in warehouses has been destroyed.

The Red Cross and Red Crescent teams plan to address this mounting crisis through cash grants as well as the distribution of seeds and farming tools.

Over the next 18 months, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society is planning to help approximately 900,000 people with assistance from its Red Cross partners around the world.

Our Response

“We have tapped our reserves, emptied our relief supplies from two regional warehouses and deployed disaster experts in support of this enormous relief operation,” said David Meltzer, senior vice president of international services with the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross alone has:

  • Committed $5 million including financial assistance toward the response
  • Shipped enough basic supplies for 50,000 people
  • Deployed two disaster experts, both with recent experience responding to Haiti’s earthquake