Pakistan

Older woman getting Red Cross suppliesDistribution of critical relief supplies for people who are impacted by floods in Pakistan.
 

Years of political instability, conflict and poverty have affected millions of people across Pakistan. Today living standards continue to plummet as poverty has increased by roughly one-third in the past decade. Forty per cent of people in Pakistan were in poverty in 2021-2022, making it a struggle to meet basic needs like clothing, shelter, food, education and health care. Recent data shows that 54 per cent of children under the age of five are moderately malnourished and 13 per cent are severely malnourished.

The Canadian Red Cross has worked in partnership with the Pakistan Red Crescent Society for more than 15 years, first responding to support after the 2005 earthquake, extreme flooding event in 2010 and most recently to help people impacted by catastrophic flash floods and landslides in 2022.

2022 Pakistan Floods

On August 25, 2022, the Government of Pakistan declared a ‘national emergency’ as record-breaking monsoon rainfall, almost three times higher than the past 30-year average, caused catastrophic flash floods and landslides across the country putting the lives of at least 33 million people at risk.

More than 2.2 million homes have been damaged or partially destroyed and livelihoods have been impacted with the loss of over a million livestock as a result of flooding and landslides. Some communities have been cut off from the rest of the country with over 13,00 kilometres of roads and more than 410 bridges have been damaged.
 

Red Cross Red Crescent response

Over 192,000  people are being assisted by Pakistan Red Crescent’s ongoing emergency response operations. Working on multiple fronts, the Pakistan Red Crescent has been among the first to respond by:
  • distributing critical relief items such as safe drinking water, shelter and cash assistance to communities devastated by floods and landslides. This includes
  • deploying six water treatment plants to provide access to clean drinking water for 24,000 people a day.
  • providing free health services via mobile medical health teams in two of the most impacted regions.
Pakistan Red Crescent is also distributing pre-positioned emergency supplies to people impacted by the disaster.

 

Canadian Red Cross response to-date, in support of Red Cross Red Crescent relief efforts

  • With support from the Government of Canada, the Canadian Red Cross has sent two humanitarian workers to provide operations leadership and management support to  the Red Cross Red Crescent response efforts on the ground and 4,000 jerry cans for household water collection or storage and remains ready to respond to additional requests for assistance.
  • The Government of Canada has also contributed $1 million to the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, via the Canadian Red Cross, to help meet the urgent needs of people affected by this crisis.
  • Thanks to the generosity of people living in Canada, the Canadian Red Cross has contributed $400,000 to assist with immediate relief efforts in Pakistan and is sending an additional humanitarian worker to coordinate communications support for the emergency response
Canadians wishing to help are encouraged to make a donation to the Pakistan Floods Appeal online, by calling 1-800-418-1111, or by texting PAKISTAN to 20222 to donate $10. Money raised will enable the Red Cross and Red Crescent to provide relief, recovery, and resiliency activities in Pakistan in response to this disaster, as well as related and future disasters.
 

Previous Emergency Response, Resilience and Recovery Activities

Pakistan is a severely disaster-prone country. It frequently experiences floods, earthquakes and cyclones. In 2005, an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale killed more than 73,000 people and left over 3.5 million homeless. In 2010, Pakistan experienced what was at the time its worst natural disaster in recent history with mega floods affecting an estimated 20 million people across the country.  The floods damaged almost 2 million houses and raised the risk of water-borne illnesses. In 2011 and 2012, Pakistan again experienced flooding, though on a lesser scale.

The Canadian Red Cross began its support to Pakistan following the 2005 earthquake and continues to support emergency and disaster relief today.

The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement worked to assist more than 2 million people who were affected by the 2010 floods.

In addition to launching a large-scale disaster response and recovery operation, the Canadian Red Cross also made significant investments in longer-term programming which continue to be used to better respond to emergencies.
 
  • With a focus on improving community knowledge and practices in maternal, newborn and child health the Canadian Red Cross supported preventative health activities and improved access to health services for  groups in vulnerable situations. This included support for women before, during and after birth, services for newborns, children and women, such as vaccinations, health and hygiene promotion, volunteer recruitment and training in community-based health and first aid.
  • To support more resilient communities that are able to respond in disasters, the Canadian Red Cross supported disaster risk reduction activities among vulnerable communities. This included recruiting and training volunteers in disaster awareness. An integral component of this program was support for pre-positioned supplies to be rapidly deployed from inside the country to respond to future disasters.  Currently, with support from the Canadian Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies  (IFRC) in Pakistan is supporting the Pakistan Red Crescent Society on a project to deliver solar powered water pumps in the Tharparkar district of Sindh province.

These activities were made possible through partnership with the Pakistan Red Crescent Society. As part of Canadian Red Cross commitment to ensuring efficient, effective and quality programming, technical and financial support was provided to strengthen program planning, operational and financial management, as well as monitoring and evaluation systems.