Nearly 10 Million People Displaced in Pakistan: IOM Urges Sustained Humanitarian Assistance as Pace of Shelter Distribution Increases

F.P. Report

SUKKUR: The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Pakistan and its partners are today providing emergency shelter to some of the estimated 10 million people displaced from their homes by the recent devastating flooding.

“IOM and its partner ACTED have started distributing 25,000 shelter kits to families in Thul Tehsil, in Jacobabad district in Sindh province,” said Mio Sato, IOM Chief of Mission in Pakistan. 

“We will continue working with the Government and our partners to distribute lifesaving assistance to communities in need. We anticipate a large-scale humanitarian response to support their recovery from this disaster, keeping in mind the heightened risks of future disasters fueled by climate change.”

People affected by the floods require emergency aid across all sectors, however, shelter is one of the most serious challenges. While increasing amounts of assistance are reaching those in need, the massive scale of the disaster will demand sustained, large-scale humanitarian assistance over the coming months.

Winter is only a few months away, presenting additional challenges for millions who have lost their homes and livelihoods. IOM is deeply concerned that large numbers of people may not receive the assistance they need and is calling on international partners to increase their support to the disaster response.

Pakistan is no stranger to disasters. In 2010, IOM also led the humanitarian response providing emergency shelter and helped rebuild community infrastructure including schools, hospitals and roads following floods that directly impacted an estimated 20 million people.

IOM senior humanitarian senior humanitarian expert Joseph Ashmore says these are the worst floods he has seen in the last 20 years.

“Over 1.7 million houses have been affected, and over 566,000 have been destroyed; the immediate shelter needs are immense and there is urgency to respond on a massive scale,” he said

Current levels of international funding to the emergency will only reach a very small percentage of the population, he said.

IOM is managing the distribution hub in Sukkur in Sindh Province in the southwest of the country where teams are working around-the-clock to receive, process and assemble kits, load trucks, and work with partners to deliver the shelter kits. At least 300,000 individuals (25,000 families) are expected to immediately benefit from the kits, which were donated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).