Pakistan has experienced a steady rise in destabilizing socio-political, economic, and environmental forces over the past decade that have torn at the very fabric of this fragile nation. Behind these seismic geopolitical forces lies a backdrop of chronic and acute undernutrition, widespread food insecurity, and recurring natural disasters that routinely displace millions of people, destroy homes and vital infrastructure, and disrupt countless lives and livelihoods.
An unprecedented natural disaster took place in 2010 when monsoon rains overwhelmed the Indus river banks and caused some of the most extensive flooding in Pakistan’s history, destroying homes, damaging roads and bridges, and affecting over 20 million people -- 10 million of whom required immediate humanitarian assistance. Subsequent flooding in 2011 hampered recovery efforts, further crippling infrastructure, tainting water supplies, wiping out harvests, and otherwise assailing the country’s economic stability by taxing power grids, raising food and fuel prices, and exacerbating long-standing internal conflicts.
Action Against Hunger mounted responses to both emergencies while maintaining prior programs in nutrition, food security and water and sanitation across Pakistan. Immediately after the floods, our priority was to contain the spread of waterborne illnesses while working to restore water networks and distribution systems. As a result of our work, nearly 300,000 people were provided with access to clean drinking water after the flood.
In responding to Pakistan’s widespread nutritional needs, our teams have devised a range of initiatives designed to eradicate undernutrition, such as cash grants to over 2,500 small businesses, food distributions to over 5,000 families, and cash-for-work opportunities to some 3,500 people in 2012 alone. Our holistic efforts have much to offer Pakistan’s vulnerable communities, integrating the prevention and treatment of severe malnutrition with food security and livelihoods programs designed to ensure access to food and income over the long term.