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(LONDON, UK) – THOUSANDS of children have been left vulnerable by the devastating floods in Pakistan, says humanitarian organisation Plan International.
As the rains continue to intensify, Plan International Pakistan’s emergency teams have found that most families, forced to evacuate their homes, are now living in dense, overcrowded camps without adequate shelter. In addition, many of these camps are still dangerously close to surging flood waters.
As of 3 August, over a million people have been affected by floods in 23 Districts across Pakistan with 86 reported deaths.
Plan International has launched an urgent humanitarian response to help affected families. The organisation is assisting in rescue and evacuation operations in Punjab, and distributing urgent humanitarian aid. It is focusing on emergency shelter, water, and sanitation relief, and supporting child protection measures.
According to Plan International Pakistan’s Country Director, Rashid Javed:
“Child protection is one of our most immediate concerns. One of our top priorities is building emergency child-friendly spaces for vulnerable children, so they can access a safe and secure environment.
“Entire communities are underwater and many houses are being washed away in villages throughout the country. Children are being forced to leave their homes and many have been separated from their family.”
Plan International’s assessments in severely affected areas have found that 50-60% of the affected population is at high risk, as they are currently living in emergency camps without shelter.
Women and girls are also vulnerable to sexual violence, as there are no toilets or sanitation facilities available at many of the camps, often forcing females to find isolated, lonely places to go to the bathroom.
Continued heavy rains and downstream flooding is exacerbating the situation.
Rashid Javed continues: “Many of these communities already live in extreme poverty and those that are being displaced are already among the most vulnerable in the country. It is imperative we rally together to ensure these communities are supported and protected.”
Spokespeople from Plan International are available for comment and interview requests. For further details, please contact:
Bangkok: Mike Bruce, Regional Communications Manager (Acting)
Mobile: +66 (0) 818 219 770
London: Angela Singh, Global Press Officer
Mobile: +44 (0) 7773 636 180
NOTES TO EDITORS
Plan International has worked in Pakistan since 1997, supporting around 1.6 million children in 4,945 communities across the country to access their rights to education, basic health care and nutrition, livelihoods, clean water, sanitation and protection. Plan International Pakistan also works to engage children in all matters that affect them.
Plan International Pakistan was at the forefront of the humanitarian response to the 2010 floods, providing emergency relief and development in the areas of child protection, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter, and livelihoods assistance.