MSF has been present in Pakistan since 1986 and has responded to several natural disasters in the country, including flooding in Dadu, Sindh province, in 2020. MSF currently runs seven programs in Pakistan employing more than 1,800 staff—about 97 percent of whom are locally hired.
Many of MSF’s staff members have been directly affected by this most recent disaster, including colleagues whose homes have been flooded. Despite this, our teams across the country have adapted their activities to respond to the most pressing needs of people affected by the floods, including many who have been displaced. We are providing medical and mental health care, safe drinking water, and non-food items, including hygiene kits and mosquito nets.
Access to clean water and shelter are the most pressing needs. In the aftermath of floods, there is an increased risk of waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dengue, malaria, and skin and eye infections. Across Pakistan, flood water has contaminated water tanks and boreholes. Most of those who lost their homes are now living in tents on the banks of overflowing canals and rivers—the floodwater they may drink is contaminated.
Toilets have been destroyed or are filled with mud, making them unusable. Pakistani health officials have reported waterborne diseases in areas where thousands of people are affected by the disaster. To prevent a widespread outbreak of disease, safe water must be provided, and the sanitation situation improved.