NYHQ2011-0083

A boy, with help from another boy, drinks from a newly installed handpump in the village of Jinnah Colony in Muzaffargarh, one of the worst flood-affected districts in Punjab Province. UNICEF and the Hayat Foundation, an implementing partner, have provided safe water and sanitation in the village, including handpumps for the provision of safe drinking water. UNICEF is also promoting health, sanitation and hygiene messages.

By the end of January 2011, the people of Pakistan continue to struggle with the effects of the worst flooding in their countrys recorded history. The flooding began in mid-July 2010 and, at its height, affected 20 million people, half of them children. An estimated 170,000 people remain displaced in camps and spontaneous settlements, primarily in Sindh Province, but all four provinces and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas face difficult recoveries. Millions have returned to ruined homes and damaged infrastructure, with recovery and rebuilding costs estimated at US$8-10 billion. Six months after the crisis began, a joint nutrition survey conducted by the Government and aid agencies, including UNICEF, has revealed that malnutrition rates for children under five far exceed critical levels: the rate of severe acute malnutrition, a deadly condition, stands at 6.1 per cent in northern Sindh, and the provinces global acute malnutrition rates are between 21 and 23 per cent. Forty per cent of households lost entire food stocks, and over 2 million hectares of crops were destroyed, leaving over 5.7 million people food insecure. In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, 650,000 people are displaced by civil conflict and unable to return due to winter conditions. They are further threatened by landmines that have been moved by floodwaters. From the start, UNICEF has joined the government, other UN agencies and partner NGOs in responding to this unprecedented emergency. UNICEF is supporting: the supply of drinking water to 3.5 million people daily, and sanitation