More than one million children in Pakistan severely affected by devastating floods
The safety of about 300,000 families - or at least 2.1 million people, including more than one million children - is at risk after the worst flooding to hit Pakistan in decades destroyed their homes with the race on to prevent the loss of more lives.
A further 690,000 homes have been partially damaged by the floods, with the government of Pakistan estimating that about 33 million people, including 11 million children - or 14% of the population - have been severely impacted by the rains, floods, infrastructure damage, and landslides.
Pakistan is the fifth most populous country in the world, home to about 235 million people including 92 million children. One-third of the country is underwater following more than two months of storms and flooding, described by the government as a "climate catastrophe … of unimaginable proportions".
More than 1,000 people, including 348 children, have died and a further 1,500 have been injured since the crisis began. The floods and torrential rains are being blamed on worsening weather patterns as a result of the climate crisis, with Pakistan ranked as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change.
The situation is expected to deteriorate in coming days and weeks as heavy rains continue in already flooded regions. Some major rivers have breached their banks and major dams have overflowed, destroying homes, farms and essential infrastructure including roads, hospitals and schools.
Save the Children has mobilised its humanitarian response teams across the worst affected areas of Shikarpur and Jacobabad, with emergency responders distributing temporary shelters, household kits including pots and pans, dignity kits for teenage girls, and food packs to families.
Khuram Gondal, Save the Children’s Pakistan Country Director, said:
"The situation is going from bad to worse. Rains continue to fall on already inundated communities. Hundreds of thousands of families have been left homeless, many of whom had very little to start off with, and they now have nothing. Many who previously fled to higher ground are now being forced to leave again - and again - and again. A third of the country is underwater. The true impact of the climate crisis on vulnerable children and families across Pakistan is unfolding before our eyes.
"Emergency responders are on the ground but they are being overwhelmed by the scale of the need. It’s heart-breaking and devastating and more needs to be done.
"Save the Children is calling on the international community to provide urgent, additional humanitarian aid, to save lives and keep children and families safe."
Save the Children is already operating in the worst affected provinces and deploying teams to other hardest hit areas to assess the immediate needs of children and families. Save the Children has so far reached more 11,000 people, including about 5,800 children, through responses to flooding and is working closely with National and Provincial Disaster Management Authorities.
Through its global campaign to tackle the climate crisis and inequality, Save the Children is listening to and amplifying children’s own experiences of how climate change and inequality are affecting their lives, including in Pakistan. The child rights organisation is calling on world leaders, corporates, and wealthy elites to tackle the climate crisis and lift children and their families out of poverty.