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8 million still stranded months after flood, UN says

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Pakistan flood file photo. News 18

Islamabad (Pakistan): A report prepared by the United Nations claimed that around eight million people living in several districts of Pakistan could still be trapped by floodwaters following the massive downpour that inundated about a third of the country earlier this year.

The report released on Tuesday by the United Nations Humanitarian Assistance Coordination wing also said that around 240,000 people in the southern Sindh region remain displaced.

According to the report, the eight million people are trapped in at least 12 districts, namely Dadu, Kambar-Shahdadkot, Khairpur, Mirpurkhas, Jamshoro, Sanghar, Umerkot, Badin, Shaheed Benazirabad and Naushahro Feroze in Sindh, and the districts of Sohbatpur and Jafferabad in Balochistan.

A total of 33 million people are believed to have been affected by the massive floods in Pakistan that have been reported all summer due to heavy monsoon rains and melting glaciers.

As many as 1,700 people died in the disaster, according to the report, adding that the country suffered total damage of over $30 billion as many roads, bridges and buildings were washed away.

The UN report indicates that millions of people, even after returning home, face a huge shortage of basic essentials such as food, water and medicine and are at high risk to their health and their well-being.

Children in particular face the risk of diarrhea and other waterborne diseases due to contamination of water resources, according to the report.

However, the numbers showed that the trend is slowing down and things are getting back to normal, albeit slowly.

The report cites data from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicating that malaria cases have fallen by 25% in Balochistan, 58% in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 67% in Sindh since early September.

The UN report also revealed that more than 600,000 children in Pakistan have not received any polio vaccine due to lack of access to affected areas.

This becomes even more serious since Pakistan is the only country that has not become polio-free along with Afghanistan.

Failure to meet this need would worsen the already fragile food security situation and drive more people to crisis and emergency levels, the report says.

The food security situation of an additional 1.1 million people is deteriorating and is expected to fall into the emergency food security phase between January and March 2023.

Evidence from available data indicates that the relief response to date has fallen far short of needs, with over
5.1 million people are currently experiencing IPC 4 conditions in flood-affected areas.

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