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Flooding in Pakistan 2013

Pakistan is highly prone to natural disasters. Almost every year, heavy monsoon rains result in serious flooding.

For the people in the region the flooding not only means the loss of their homes, it also destroys long-term development processes and their livelihoods. People, especially in rural areas, have lost their crops and cattle to flooding many times over. Hardly any of the damage is insured, comprehensive disaster risk reduction measures are not in place. The people flee to higher regions, where they stay in makeshift accommodation, often without access to drinking water, food, healthcare or sanitary facilities. Women and children are worst affected by these adverse conditions, their health often deteriorating rapidly as a result.

In 2010 Pakistan saw the worst flood in over 80 years. One fifth of the country was under water for many weeks, more than 1,700 people lost their lives and over 1.5 million homes were destroyed. The flood was caused by days of unusually heavy monsoon rains that brought the Indus River and its branches to swell to unprecedented levels in a short space of time. Every year since, large parts of the country, and especially the Sindh province, have been affected by heavy rainfalls with prolonged flooding. The people barely have time to recover from the negative consequences of the last event, and to rebuild their livelihoods, before they are forced once more to flee their villages.

In 2010 action medeor reacted promptly to the flooding, sending 50 tons of medicines worth 2.34 million euros to Pakistan. In partnership with local aid organizations projects were initiated to provide medical care, vaccination campaigns were rolled out, and information events held. As a result, more than 21,000 people could be given medical care in the first few months after the disaster. In 2011 and 2013 action medeor once again supported various projects and was able to treat around 40,000 people and distribute vital aid to more than 6,500 families.

The strong trend of recurrent flooding in the country highlights the necessity of developing long-term supply strategies. Since 2012, therefore, action medeor has increased its engagement in joint disaster risk reduction projects with local partner organizations. In an effort to minimize potential losses and damage, residents are involved in developing strategies and precautions that will leave them better prepared to identify and deal with future flooding.