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Climate catastrophe in Pakistan

07 September 2022, Impact of Our Work

In worst flooding to hit Pakistan in decades, children are the most affected

A national emergency has been declared by the government of Pakistan, as one-third of the country is underwater following more than two months of unprecedented heavy monsoon rains. The widespread flooding is described by the government as a “climate catastrophe … of unimaginable proportions”.

Across the worst hit areas, the flash flooding has caused significant loss – of homes, of essential infrastructure like schools and hospitals, of livelihoods, and devastatingly even of lives.

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.

Khuram Gondal, Save the Children’s Pakistan Country Director

By 7 September 2022, more than 1,355 people, including at least 481 children had lost their lives. The numbers of those severely affected are expected to rise with continued rains and flooding. The risks of mass hunger and deadly waterborne diseases are rising daily, with young children, the elderly and pregnant or breastfeeding women most at risk.

Nearly 50% of people affected by the devastating floods are children. They are at huge risk of several threats including neglect, abuse, exploitation and violence. Children are most vulnerable as they are exposed to flood-related physical risks and hazards, including animal and insect bites, snakes, unsafe places such as damaged buildings, and drowning. 

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 the impacts of climate change. 


Donor support is helping provide emergency supplies of wheat flour to flood affected areas.
Photo: Save the Children

Save the Children’s response and what you can do to help

We have mobilised our humanitarian response teams across the worst affected areas. Our emergency responders are distributing temporary shelters, household kits including pots and pans, dignity kits for teenage girls, and food packs to families.

But as heavy rains continue in already flooded regions, the urgency to respond is even more crucial to prevent the loss of more lives. We are on a race against time to avoid secondary disasters, such as mass hunger and a public health emergency that threatens vulnerable groups such as children the most.

The loss of lives in Pakistan is devastating. With your compassionate support you can help children and families survive catastrophes like this and look forward towards a sustainable recovery.

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