Pakistan Floods: The First 100 Days

Published on 08 November 2010

In many areas of the southern Sindh province, such as this village in the Dadu district, flood waters could remain for another three months.

(Copyright: WFP/Geoff Pinnock)

Floodwaters have receded in many parts of Pakistan and flood victims are thinking about recovery and rebuilding. But in other areas, vast swathes of land remain submerged and communities cut off by the waters still depend on deliveries of emergency food aid.

ROME -- A hundred days have passed since monsoon rains caused Pakistan’s worst floods in living memory. It’s easy to think that the worst is over and it’s now all about rebuilding, replanting and recovering. But while that may be true in some areas of the north, where waters have receded, in others the emergency is far from over.

Large tracts of Pakistan are still submerged (see map) and hundreds of thousands of people are living on bunds, or embankments, without any regular access to food supplies. Food must be flown in, or sent by boat or hovercraft. ⇒ See photos

Still underwater

The purple parts of this map of Pakistan show areas that are still underwater 100 days after the monsoon floods started.

This is the situation right now in many parts of the southern province Sindh, where large areas of land – particularly in Dadu and Jamshoro districts – may remain under water for up to three months more. About a million people here are living in camps.

Far from over

In October WFP delivered life-saving rations to 6.2 million people spread over a huge area. This month we’re aiming to reach 7.5 million people.

Some of these will be the people living on the ‘bunds’ in Sindh and other areas still underwater. But we’ll also be scaling up assistance to the many Pakistanis who are now looking to start rebuilding and recovering the lives that were shattered by the floods.

In Punjab and Balochistan, more and more displaced families are returning home and need the critical support that food assistance can provide as they begin their recovery. Across Pakistan, some 5 million people will be get a ‘return package’ of food to get them started again as they reclaim lives and livelihoods.

Recovery and rebuilding

In the northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, initial work on recovery has already begun as residents try to replant crops and rebuild the villages, schools, health centres and businesses that were destroyed.

WFP is supporting many of them with food as they rebuild roads, and bridges and return to their farmland. More than 90,000 of the most vulnerable beneficiaries have benefited from these ‘food-for-work’ activities. Find out more

In November 750,000 people will be involved in this sort of early recovery activity, supported by WFP food.

Meanwhile, winter is approaching. Positioning food supplies in northern areas of the country before the snows come and cut off access is a priority. Some 133,000 people have already received winter rations and more will be getting them this month in the KPK region. Find out more

100 days after the floods, the huge scale of the disaster is now clear – and so too is the scale of the response needed.

Fresh funding

WFP this week welcomed a US$90 million donation to the Pakistan emergency operation -- cost US$596 million -- from the United States. Combined with other recent donations, this staves off ration cuts to beneficiaries which had earlier seemed inevitable. Read news release. You can learn more about the funding situation on the Pakistan crisis page.

 

 

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Martin Penner

Web Editor

Martin Penner, a former journalist, has worked for WFP since 2008.