According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the floods in Pakistan during the summer monsoon season of 2022 were some of the worst in recent history. More than 1,200 people were killed and over four million affected, with damage totaling more than the US $2 billion.
The floods began in early July, after several weeks of heavy rains. The NDMA reported that the Indus River had risen to dangerously high levels and that several of its tributaries had also burst their banks. Over 1,000 villages were submerged, and hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed.
According to the latest reports, the country lost over 900,000 livestock. 1.14 million homes were destroyed, leading to 13 million people becoming homeless. Currently, more than 4 million people are living in makeshift camps.
The worst-affected areas were in the Sindh and Punjab provinces, where most victims were reported. NDMA chairman Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal said the death toll could rise as floodwaters surge through villages and towns. He also urged people to remain alert and take precautionary measures to protect themselves and their families.
The floods caused widespread damage to infrastructure, including roads, bridges, railways, and irrigation systems. More than 1.8 million acres of crops were destroyed, causing a major food crisis in the country. The UN has warned that Pakistan is facing a "second wave" of COVID-19 as the floods have displaced millions and caused widespread damage to healthcare facilities. The Pakistani government has appealed for international assistance to help with the relief effort.
The Pakistani government declared a state of emergency and appealed for international assistance. The United Nations and several other international organizations responded with aid, but the scale of the disaster overwhelmed Pakistan's capacity to respond.
The floods caused widespread damage to infrastructure, crops, and livestock. More than two million acres (809,000 hectares) of cropland were submerged, and over 1.5 million houses were destroyed or damaged. The telecommunications and power systems were also badly affected, leaving millions without communication or electricity.
The Pakistani government has estimated that it will cost more than the US $10 billion to recover from the floods and has appealed for international assistance to help meet this need. The United Nations and other international organizations have pledged support for Pakistan's recovery effort, but the scale of the disaster will require a massive and sustained effort over many years.
NGOs Working In Pakistan: 2022 Monsoon Floods
1. Pakistan Red Crescent Society
The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) is the leading humanitarian organization in Pakistan. PRCS has responded to the needs of affected by the floods since they began and will continue to do so in the coming months and years.
PRCS provides emergency relief items such as food, water, shelter, and medical care to those in need. This organization is also working to support the government in its relief efforts and is coordinating with other humanitarian organizations to ensure a coordinated and effective response.
2. International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is also working in Pakistan to assist those affected by the floods. ICRC provides emergency relief items such as food, water, shelter, and medical care to those in need. They are also working to help people reconnect with their families and access clean water and sanitation facilities.
3. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Pakistan is no stranger to natural disasters. In 2010, devastating floods affected over 20 million people and caused billions of dollars in damage. Six years later, another major flood hit the country, affecting close to 16 million people. Given this history, it's no surprise that NGOs are preparing for the possibility of more floods in Pakistan.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is one such organization. OCHA is working with the Pakistani government to develop a comprehensive response plan for the upcoming monsoon season. This plan includes pre-positioning supplies, identifying evacuation routes, and training first responders. OCHA is also working to raise awareness about the dangers of flooding and how people can protect themselves.
Humanitarian Response Plan
Pakistan is one of the world's most disaster-prone countries, and floods are a recurrent hazard. The country experiences flood events almost yearly, with particularly severe episodes occurring since 2010. The Indus River Basin, which covers about one-third of Pakistan's territory, is particularly vulnerable to floods. Pakistan is prone to monsoon floods because of its geographical location and topography. The country lies in the path of the seasonal winds that bring rain from the Indian Ocean during the summer months (July-September). These rains often fall on already saturated ground, resulting in flooding.
Additionally, the Indus River Basin is home to five major river systems – the Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, and Sutlej – which converge in Pakistan and empty into the Arabian Sea. Many smaller streams and tributaries also feed the basin. When these rivers overflow their banks, they can cause widespread flooding.
The 2022 floods were caused by heavy monsoon rains that lasted for several weeks. The rains were particularly intense in the northern and northwestern parts of Pakistan, where the Indus and its tributaries flow. These areas were inundated, with some parts of the country seeing water levels rise as high as 20 feet (6 meters). The floods affected an estimated 20 million people and caused damage worth US$ 9.7 billion.
The overall objective of this response plan is to save lives, protect livelihoods and restore basic services for flood-affected communities in Pakistan. The specific objectives are to
· Provide emergency assistance to affected communities, including food, shelter, water and sanitation, health and protection
· Restore livelihoods by supporting the rehabilitation of agriculture and other economic activities
· Rehabilitate damaged infrastructure, including schools, roads, and bridges
· Improve flood preparedness and response capacity at the national and local levels.
The strategy for this response plan is based on three pillars
· Humanitarian assistance: Providing emergency assistance to meet the basic needs of affected communities
· Livelihoods support: Supporting the rehabilitation of agriculture and other economic activities
· Infrastructure rehabilitation: Rehabilitating damaged infrastructure, including schools, roads, and bridges.
Various national and international humanitarian organizations will implement the response plan, with the Government of Pakistan leading. The United Nations will provide coordination and support through the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
4. Monitoring And Evaluation
The response plan will be monitored and evaluated regularly to ensure it achieves its objectives. Several indicators will be used to measure progress, including the number of people provided with emergency assistance, the number of livelihoods restored, the extent of infrastructure rehabilitation, and the number of people trained in flood preparedness and response.