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.
Catastrophic flooding in Pakistan leads to growing humanitarian needs, on top of existing challenges many people face getting access to health care.
Our work in Pakistan
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) regular programs focus on improving access to health care for women and children and treatment for communicable diseases. In August 2022, we began responding to a massive flooding disaster caused by unusually heavy monsoon rains.
September 9, 2022—At least 33 million people have been affected by recent flooding in Pakistan that has left one-third of the country underwater. More than 1,300 people died, including at least 458 children, and more than 12,700 people were injured. The Government of Pakistan declared a national emergency on August 26, appealing for international aid. Government officials, humanitarian organizations, and volunteers all face enormous challenges accessing people in need and an urgent scale-up of the humanitarian response is needed.
What's happening in Pakistan?
Health care for women and children is a serious concern in Pakistan. Women in rural areas die from preventable complications during pregnancy and delivery, and neonatal care is unavailable in many areas. According to the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey, one in every 11 children dies before the age of five.
Experts warn that the devastating floods in Pakistan are a wake-up call alerting the world to the threats posed by the climate emergency. While multiple factors have compounded the disaster, initial scientific analysis reports that climate change likely contributed to this year's record-breaking monsoon rainfall. Heavy rains are becoming more frequent and intense in many parts of the world due to greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Pakistan is considered among the countries most at risk due to the impact of extreme weather events, according to the Global Climate Risk Index developed by the organization Germanwatch.
How we're helping in Pakistan
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.
In 2021, we maintained our essential reproductive, neonatal, and pediatric care services at five different locations in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. In addition, we assisted local communities, Afghan refugees, and people living in border areas through a variety of services—including emergency obstetric services and nutrition programs, and the management and referral of critical trauma patients.
In Karachi, Sindh province, where we run a hepatitis C project in the informal settlement of Machar Colony, we started supporting COVID-19 vaccination activities in September 2021. We opened a vaccination center in the rural health center of Sher Shah and deployed a mobile vaccination clinic to several other sites in Kemari district. In Balochistan, we supported the Ministry of Health by providing staff, transporting test samples to laboratories, and donating personal protective equipment (PPE). We also donated drugs, medical equipment, and PPE to local health authorities and hospitals in four other provinces.
In Gujranwala, Punjab province, we opened a new project in November 2021 to diagnose and treat people with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, implementing a decentralized approach, which enables patients to receive care nearer their homes.
Throughout the past year, MSF made multiple donations to hospitals and disaster management authorities, and assisted with responses to outbreaks of measles and dengue. We also donated 500 relief kits to people affected by the earthquake in Harnai, Balochistan.
How we're helping in 2021
Doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered
Admissions of children to outpatient feeding programs
People treated for cutaneous leishmaniasis
Outpatient consultations for COVID-19
How you can help
Not everyone can treat patients in the field. But everyone can do something.
Some humanitarian crises make the headlines—others don’t. Unrestricted support from our donors allows us to mobilize quickly and efficiently to provide lifesaving medical care to the people who need it most, whether those needs are in the spotlight or not. And your donation is 100 percent tax-deductible.