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Supporting people affected by flooding in Pakistan

11 Mar 2015

Floods ravaged north eastern Pakistan when late and heavy monsoon rains started in early September 2014.

By 9 September, the Pakistani Government declared an emergency in Punjab province and categorised the flood-affected areas as a calamity.

Huge destruction

According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), 282 people died in Punjab; Sialkot was one of the worst affected districts in the province.

85 villages remain cut off from the rest of Sialkot district because flash floods caused the river banks to burst. The high levels of water which broke the banks of the Chenab have caused massive destruction in nearby rural areas.

HelpAge International has responded to this emergency and, based on the rapid assessment of one of our partners Mojaz Foundation, we received funding from the German Foreign Ministry via HelpAge Deutschland.

Providing support

We are working to provide immediate and lifesaving support to people affected by these floods. In doing so, we will improve the way vulnerable groups - including older people - are supported by other humanitarian agencies.

We have already distributed food and other essential items to 3,000 families in Sialkot district who have been affected by the floods. This includes:

  • 3,000 food baskets
  • 3,000 kitchen sets
  • 3,000 hygiene kits
  • 3,000 sets of water containers and /or Jerry cans
  • 6,000 sets of mosquito nets and repellent

The food baskets contained flour, rice, sugar, tea, cooking oil, pulses, porridge and dates. One basket is enough to feed a family of 4-5 people for a month. Along with these food items, we also distributed cooking pots, plates, spoons, pans and dishes.

Hygiene kits contained soap, teeth cleaning products and nail cutters. All these items are designed to address people's immediate needs, as well as helping with their longer-term recovery.

To ensure we reached the people who needed support the most we organised community meetings, went to people's homes to register them for aid and set up distribution points in consultation with villages committees.

We helped people affected by the flood, including older men and women so they could return to their normal lives. Here are some of their stories:

Muhammed, 61

Muhammed, 61. (c) Waqas Qureshi

"Life is more beautiful when your needs are fulfilled"

Manzoor, 62

Manzoor, 61. (c) Waqas Qureshi/HelpAge International"I am thankful to Helpage International for reaching out to us and giving us a new life. I am no longer worried about providing food to my children. It feels so good to see them happy."

Ahmedan Bibi, 60

Ahmedan Bibi, 60. (c) Waqas Qureshi/HelpAge International

After losing everything in the floods, she now feels that she has enough food for her family. With our help, her family will be able to live a healthy life.

Shamim, 53

Shamim (c) Waqas Qureshi/HelpAge International

She now has enough food at home and enough time to arrange fodder to start working with livestock.

She said: "This support will help me to move on with my life with dignity."

Read more about our work supporting older people in Pakistan.

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Numan Khan Afridi


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Author profile

Waqas Qureshi
Country: Pakistan
Job title: Advocacy & Communications Coordinator

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These blogs are personal reflections and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelpAge International.