Flood Hits Pakistan; Over 6.5 Lakh Pregnant Women In Dire Need Of Care: UNFPA

Pakistan Flood

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a sexual and reproductive health agency, has painted a bleak picture of women affected by the unprecedented floods as it said that at least 650,000 pregnant women are expected to deliver next month

According to the resources, in the disastrous flood which hit some regions of Pakistan, at least 6,50,000 pregnant women urgently need the care to deal with the unprecedented natural calamity that has left more than 1,100 persons dead and affected over 33 million others.

Since early June almost a million houses were destroyed and damaged in the floods that have created devastation across Pakistan, as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) also warned that there was an increased risk of gender-based violence (GBV) against women and girls as well.

A bleak picture of women has been painted who were affected by the unprecedented floods, by a sexual and reproductive health agency, in which 73,000 out of 6,50,000 women, are expected to deliver next month, are in dire need of maternal health services, according to UNFPA. “Up to 73,000 women expected to deliver next month will need skilled birth attendants, newborn care, and support.”

Further, by seeing the vulnerable situation and stressing that pregnancies and childbirth could not wait for emergencies or natural disasters to be over, the agency stated that a woman and baby are the most vulnerable and need utmost care during this hour of crisis that has deluged the third half of Pakistan.

Pakistan Representative Bakhtiar Kadirov stated that UNFPA is on the ground, is continuously working with partners, to ensure that pregnant women and new mothers continue to receive life-saving services even under the most challenging conditions.

Requesting and asking to step up relief efforts to the world, the UN agency said, “Over 1,000 health facilities were either partially or fully damaged in Sindh — the worst affected region in the current flood situation, while 198 health facilities were damaged in Balochistan. Under this natural disaster, over 1,600 persons have been injured and nearly 7,35,000 livestock and sources of livelihood food have been lost moreover it has also damaged roads and more than two million acres of agricultural land.” 

“The damage to roads and bridges also compromised girls’ and women’s access to health facilities,” the UNFPA further added. Pakistan Representative Bakhtiar Kadirov stated, “We will continue to support health facilities with the equipment and human resources to be fully operational despite the challenging humanitarian conditions.”

According to a report where it is clearly shown that the UNFPA Pakistan procured 8,311 dignity kits, 7,411 newborn baby kits, and 6,412 clean delivery kits for immediate delivery to Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

More than 6.4 million people across Pakistan need immediate support in response to torrential rains and flash floods that have since June displaced hundreds of thousands, who are now living in camps or with host families.

Ahsan Iqbal the Federal Minister of Planning and Special Initiatives said, “The initial economic losses from floods in Pakistan could reach at least USD 10 billion.” Iqbal also added that it might take five years to rebuild and rehabilitate the nation of 200 million people, which will be facing an acute challenge of food shortage.

The monsoon season runs from July to September in Pakistan. This year monsoon and pre-monsoon rains broke the 30-year record in Pakistan and the NDMA data shows that the 30-year average precipitation was 130.8 millimetres but the rainfall in the 2022 season was 375.4 mm.

by Shyma

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