The floods in Pakistan have been most severe in some of the poorest and most vulnerable regions in the country. Copyright:WFP/Amjad Jamal
The floods in Northwestern Pakistan have befallen one of the most volatile areas in the world where over one million people were already in flight from turmoil along the Afghan border. WFP Pakistan Spokesman Amjad Jamal explains what these floods have meant for them and what WFP is doing to help the scores of other people affected.
How bad is the situation where you are now?
Deluges in Northwestern Pakistan have caused heavy damage in at least 25 districts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region where livestock have drowned, crops are underwater, bridges have collapsed and many roads have been completely washed away. The number of people affected by these floods is rising every day.
Who are the people who have been affected?
This area is already home to more than one million people displaced by violence along the border with Afghanistan. The flooding was worst precisely in the communities where these people had come in search of refuge. Local residents have paid a heavy price in terms of lost lives and livelihoods, but perhaps the worst affected were the ones who had so little to begin with.
What is WFP doing to help them?
WFP has a strong and resourceful network of NGOs in the area who were already helping us deliver assistance to the over one million displaced people. We have launched food distributions in the areas worst where the flooding was heaviest- in the Peshawar and Swat Valleys, Mardan, Charsadda and Nowshera . Though we’re still working to determine the full extent of the damage, we hope to reach nearly half a million people with food aid by the end of the week.
What challenges are you facing?
A lot of areas are still cut off by the flood waters—people are in desperate need of help, but due to the damaged roads and bridges, it’s impossible to get to them. To make matters worse, the weather has not been good and we’re expecting more rain that will only exacerbate the situation. But we’re working hard to overcome these obstacles and we won’t stop until we’ve gotten to everyone.