Shijal ChudasamaDecember 7, 2022

Eight million people could still be exposed to flooding in Pakistan.

Eight million people could still be exposed to flooding in Pakistan.

In Pakistan's Islamabad
More than 240,000 people in the southern province of Sindh remain homeless, according to a UN assessment on Pakistan's disastrous floods, and satellite photos show that over eight million people are "are potentially exposed to flooding or living close to flooded areas."

At least 12 districts continue to report standing water, 10 of which are in Sindh and two are in Balochistan, according to the situation report by the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which was published on Tuesday.

More than 1,700 people were killed and 33 million people were affected by the disastrous floods that Pakistan experienced this summer as a result of torrential monsoon rains and melting glaciers submerging one-third of the nation.

The loss of homes, roads, bridges, and rail networks is estimated to have cost the government more than $30 billion.

According to the UN study, even if the water has subsided enough for millions of people to return home, they still experience severe shortages of necessities like food and medicine. Even if the numbers are on the decline, it also mentions that the flood-affected areas are currently dealing with health-related issues.

Eight million may still be exposed to Pakistan floodwaters: UN
A man carries his belongings as he wades through floodwaters in Jaffarabad, a flood-hit district of Balochistan province in Pakistan 

According to the UN study, malaria cases have decreased by 25% in Balochistan, 58% in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and 67% in Sindh since early September, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The report also highlighted the "underlying vulnerabilities" in Sindh and Balochistan provinces by noting the large number of malaria and cholera cases that are still being reported from those areas.

In addition, the UN report said that more than 600,000 kids in Pakistan have not received even a single dose of the polio vaccine due to access issues in flood-affected areas. Along with Afghanistan, Pakistan is still one of only two nations in the world that has not yet been deemed polio-free.

Eight million may still be exposed to Pakistan floodwaters: UN

The status of Pakistan's food security was also underlined in the study. According to statistics from the World Food Programme (WFP), a different UN agency, the biggest numbers of people experiencing food insecurity were found in Sindh (3.9 million) and Balochistan (1.6 million).

The report stated that "evidence from available data shows that relief response to far has fallen considerably short of the demand, with over 5.1 million people presently facing IPC 4 conditions in flood-affected areas," and that an additional 1.1 million people may do so by the start of 2023.

Phases four and five of the IPC's classification of acute food insecurity distinguish between various degrees of food insecurity, with phase four designating an emergency and phase five a catastrophe or famine.

An expert on rights-based development and a former Special Rapporteur for OCHA, Farida Shaheed, stated that the government's emergency response to this year's floods lacked a long-term strategy.

"The destruction is on an enormous magnitude. It cannot be resolved in a few months or a year. People have lost their houses, their livelihoods, their crops, and their livestock. I haven't noticed anything being done by the administration with a long-term perspective," she claimed.

"Perennial problems have been building up, and suddenly they are all present. Flood-related destruction goes much beyond what is described, but it has been coming for a while. We can now witness the effects of our ineffective development policies," she added.

Eight million may still be exposed to Pakistan floodwaters: UN
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