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Floods in Pakistan

20 September 2010

How you can help

The easiest and the most effective way to help those affected by the floods in Pakistan is by donating money to the DEC appeal.

Find out more about how you can help.


The UK Government response to the Pakistan floods

UKaid announced so far will provide help for around one and a half million people in Pakistan affected by the floods.

The UK Government has earmarked up to £134 million in response to the UN Pakistan appeal. In addition, a £10 million bridge project has been brought forward.

Summary of UKaid to those affected by the floods:

  • Safe drinking water; 1,150 private bathing facilities; emergency shelter kits for 30,500 families; toilets installed/repaired; hygiene kits for 74,500 families; 650 new born baby kits; plus more, in Punjab and Sindh channelled via Save the Children, Concern, and Oxfam: £9 million
  • Health care, shelter, and food for people primarily in Punjab and Sindh: £14.5 million
  • Eleven DFID-funded planes carrying lifesaving aid have arrived in Pakistan consisting of:
    - Five DFID funded RAF planes, two carrying UN items, the remaining three bringing tents and emergency shelter kits
    - Six DFID chartered planes, bringing emergency shelter kits, blankets, and buckets
  • 3,500 tents and 13,376 shelter kits, providing shelter for more than 80,290 people
  • 24,000 water containers and 48,375 blankets
  • 1.7 million water purification tablets – equivalent to 28 million litres of water
  • Help for half-a-million malnourished children and pregnant/breastfeeding women by providing high energy food supplements, treatment for severely malnourished children, and training health workers: £4 million
  • Safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene for 800,000 people via UNICEF: £5 million
  • Water and sanitation, shelter, food, and healthcare via Pakistan Emergency Response Fund: £5 million
  • Bridges project brought forward - 10 bridges currently being shipped from the UK and two being transported by road from Karachi: £10 million
  • Emergency ‘seed money’ for NGOs released via Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies: £750,000
  • Radio broadcasts with humanitarian information: £45,000
  • Extension of DFID loan guarantee scheme to small enterprises affected by the floods
  • UK public contributions to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal: £40 million
  • Scottish Government contribution to Scottish aid agencies in country: £500,000
  • Previous contributions to the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), the Central Emergency Response Fund, and International Committee of the Red Cross

More information on these contributions (PDF - 56 KB)


20 September: Mitchell - UK gives major aid boost to Pakistan

The UK will provide a substantial boost to Pakistan’s emergency relief and recovery by committing a further £70m, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell announced yesterday at the United Nations in New York.

The announcement comes in response to the United Nations’ revised appeal to provide relief and recovery support for the next 12 months for up to 14 million people affected by the floods.

Andrew Mitchell made clear Britain was expressing strong support for the appeal from Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Co-ordinator at UN OCHA (Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs), and that Britain would do everything it could to help drive forward the UN’s relief efforts.

The UK contribution will help the people of Pakistan rebuild their lives with £60m helping people get back to work, re-starting agriculture, and getting children back to school.  UK support will help by:

  • Providing seeds, tools and livestock to help people re-start their farms
  • Helping up to 2m people rebuild their shattered communities and giving short-term employment opportunities
  • Getting hundreds of thousands of children back to school.  More than 8000 schools were destroyed in the floods.

The remaining contribution will target specific lifesaving relief to south Pakistan, to help avert a public health emergency there.

Read the full press release


17 September: Mitchell - The UK will stand by Pakistan as crisis continues

The crisis in Pakistan is still continuing, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell warned today, ahead of a UN donor conference this Sunday to boost support for the country.

More than six weeks after the floods first started, UK International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell warned that water is still spreading south, submerging new towns, and forcing millions of people from their homes, many living without shelter, clean water, or food. Stagnating flood waters may take months to recede.

Mr Mitchell today announced how further UK aid will be allocated, including:

  • Funding towards five civilian helicopters for two months, which will double the World Food Programme/United Nations Humanitarian Air Service capacity, and allow 200 metric tonnes of food and other vital items to be distributed to hard to access areas;
  • Emergency health care for some 720,000 people in Punjab and Sindh, via International Medical CORPS, providing 50 mobile health clinics, health workers, and medicine.
  • Safe drinking water and hygiene kits for 98,000 people, mosquito nets and emergency shelter for 30,000 families in Punjab, via local relief organisation the Rural Support Programmes Network. 
  • One month food package for nearly one million people;
  • Health-care, shelter, safe drinking water for some 350,000 people in hard to access Balochistan and FATA;
  • Toilets and hygiene kits hundreds of thousands of people across south Pakistan.

Today's announcement comes to about £17 million (more than 2.2 billion rupees), the last allocation from the £64 million (approx 8.5 billion rupees) already committed by the UK Government to help people in Pakistan affected by the floods.

Read the full press release


7 September: Extraordinary UKaid response for flood stricken Punjab and Sindh

The UK will intensify efforts this week in critically affected south Pakistan to help avert the risk of a public health crisis, including providing urgently needed clean drinking water and sanitation for hundreds of thousands of people, the International Development Secretary announced in Parliament today.

This week the UK Government will:

  • Start emergency production lines in factories in Lahore and Karachi, to produce 2,155 hygiene kits per day and 5,300 water containers per day for two weeks. Trucks will leave the factories as soon as they are full to distribute the urgently needed items to people in Punjab and Sindh, to help stop the spread of water-borne diseases.
  • Help set up an emergency field operations and coordination base camp in the middle of the worst flood affected area near Sukkur, in south Pakistan, to house up to 72 relief workers, from a range of agencies including the UN and NGOs, with the International Humanitarian Partnership.
  • Charter three more flights into Pakistan. The flights from Nairobi, Beijing, and the East Midlands will be packed with vital aid, including water tanks large enough to supply entire villages plus:
    • 134,818 water containers (jerry cans and buckets) for families to store clean water;
    • 34 million water purification tablets making 340 million litres of safe drinking water;
    • 3,016 shelter kits providing protection from the elements for more than 3,000 families;
    • 12,525 blankets;
    • 4,510 sets of basic cooking utensils.

Speaking in the UK House of Commons today, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said:
“The floods in Pakistan are extraordinary; and demand an extraordinary response. That’s why we are taking these inventive approaches to set up an emergency production line and scouring the globe to fly in such huge quantities of urgently needed items.

“Some parts of southern Pakistan are still under four feet of water, which won’t drain away for some time due to heavy clay in the soil. Unless people can access safe water and sanitation there is a real threat of a public health disaster from waterborne diseases.”

Read the full press release

Read Andrew Mitchell's full statement to the House of Commons


1 September: Nick Clegg - lifesaving UKaid for devastated areas in South Pakistan

Nick Clegg meets NGO representatives in PakistanDeputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today announced how lifesaving aid from the UK will be allocated while visiting Sukkur, south Pakistan, the region now worst affected by the monsoon floods.

The aid will be targeted at Punjab and Sindh, and includes:

  • 2,330 water pumps/points to provide safe drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people;
  • 1,150 private bathing facilities, benefiting thousands of people particularly women;
  • Emergency shelter kits for around 30,500 families – provide shelter for more than 152,000 people;
  • Around 5,000 toilets installed/repaired, for use by some quarter of a million people;
  • Hygiene kits for about 75,000 families, containing for example bath, dish and laundry soap, disinfectant, women's sanitary materials, tooth brush/paste, towel, comb;
  • 650 new born baby kits, containing baby vests, baby shampoo and soap, baby blankets etc; and
  • Spades, picks, and wheelbarrows to help 16,000 families remove debris from their homes.

The UK Government will allocate £9 million to Save the Children, Concern and Oxfam to provide and distribute the aid items announced today. The money comes from the £33 million announced by International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell at the UN in New York on 19 August 2010.

The Deputy Prime Minister is in Pakistan to see for himself the devastation caused by the floods, ahead of attending the Millennium Development Goals summit in New York in a few weeks. In Sukkur, he visited a World Food Programme store house and met with Oxfam, Save the Children, and other UN and aid agencies.

Read the full press release


28 August: RAF flies in more shelter kits

DFID called on the Royal Air Force (RAF) to help provide more urgently-needed shelter for thousands of people driven from their homes in southern Pakistan, which has been hit hardest by the continuing floods.

A C17 - the RAF’s largest transport aircraft - will fly in more than 3,000 DFID shelter kits, scheduled to land in Islamabad this Saturday (28 August).

The kits will provide more than 3,000 families, or over 15,000 people, with plastic sheeting, pegs and ropes, to erect temporary shelters for protection against the ongoing monsoon rains.

A second RAF flight will head directly into Multan in the southern province of Punjab, close to the areas currently most affected by the floods.

The C130 Hercules will be the first RAF flight to fly UKaid straight into the south of the country, and will carry an additional 500-plus DFID shelter kits. This will provide shelter for some 500 families or 2,500 people whose homes have been damaged or destroyed.

Read the full press release 


26 August: Shipping bridges to Pakistan

Bridges being loaded ready for transport to Pakistan. Picture: Michael Haig / DFIDTen bridges are due to set sail from London, headed for Pakistan, to replace some of those destroyed by the floods. They will leave Tilbury Docks in the next few days to arrive in Karachi next month.

Two more bridges, acquired by DFID in Pakistan from the British military, will be trucked from Karachi up to Khyber Pakhtunkwa over the coming week.

A team of DFID-funded engineers has been on the ground working with the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa since 5 August 2010, identifying priority sites and planning delivery of the bridges.

All 12 bridges are destined for the Malakand District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, said:

“The floods have washed away hundreds of bridges in Pakistan. The disruption caused by this damage to Pakistan’s infrastructure is immense. That’s why we’ve accelerated this £10 million bridge project. These ten bridges will set sail from London soon, heading for Pakistan, and we are trucking a further two bridges up from Karachi to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“People rely on bridges. They’re vital transport links and will allow people to get to school, work, and get on with their lives.”

Read the full press release


BBC Dimensions map showing the area affected by the Pakistan floods as shown over the UK:

Click here to see the extent of the flooding on BBC Dimensions website

Visit the BBC Dimensions website to use the interactive prototype map and see the extent of the flooding by entering your town or postcode.


25 August: Clegg - “The UK public has led the world with its generosity”

NIck Clegg at DEC. Picture: Crown copyrightThe UK public has led the world with its generosity in response to the Pakistan floods, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said today while visiting the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) office in Euston, central London.

The DEC appeal has now raised £33m and the UK Government has committed more than £60m.

The situation in Pakistan remains desperate, with the south of the country now the worst affected and in most immediate need. As flood waters recede in the north of the country, people need the tools to rebuild their lives.

Mr Clegg was joined by International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell and Baroness Warsi, who both recently visited Pakistan to see how UK aid is helping those affected by flooding.

The government outlined today that the additional money pledged last week would be targeted mainly at the Punjab and Sindh provinces in the south of the country. The new UK support will be spent alongside the money raised by the DEC appeal and will be spent through NGOs and international agencies.

The support will focus on five key areas. As well as addressing immediate needs - shelter; food; clean water and healthcare – support will increasingly go to longer-term help which will support people to rebuild their lives, such as supplying farmers with new seed for crops.

In addition the Deputy Prime Minister confirmed the following assistance for Pakistan:

  • 10 UK-made pre-fabricated 30-metre road bridges for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa district. They will leave Tilbury docks in London at the end of this month to arrive in September in Karachi.
  • 2 bridges already in Pakistan will leave Karachi in the next few days to be transported to flood - affected areas.
  • More RAF flights carrying humanitarian aid will fly to Pakistan later this week.  They will fly to Islamabad and to the most affected area, Multan, in the south of Pakistan.  The first flight will be carrying 3,000 urgently-needed shelter kits which will help 15,000 people.

Read the full press release


24 August: Pakistan appeal giving is most sustained ever

Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell was at a DEC event last night to continue to highlight the plight of Pakistan and the importance of the DEC appeal for those who wish to do something to help.

For the first time in DEC's 45 year history it had seen donations rise rather than fall during the second week of an appeal.

The Pakistan Floods Appeal has now raised £30 million.

The continuing high level of donations is critically important as 20 million people in Pakistan are now affected and there is a serious threat to survivors from water-borne diseases. DEC member agencies and their partners have so far helped over 800,000 people.

Disasters Emergency Committee Chief Executive Brendan Gormley said:

"It is sometimes harder to fully appreciate the impact of disasters such as floods that take longer to develop. However, the response of UK public to the floods in Pakistan has been extraordinary. We have never seen anything like it in our 45 year history.

"This is a tragedy unfolding in slow motion with new areas still being flooded and the threat of deadly water borne disasters stalking millions of survivors.

"The full impact of the disaster will only be revealed when flood waters finally recede and the extent of the devastation is uncovered."


19 August: UK to double emergency aid to Pakistan, but other nations must step up

Andrew Mitchell, International Development Secretary, has announced that the UK intends to double its aid contribution for the floods in Pakistan, but will only release money to partners who are able to show they can deliver the right results for the people of Pakistan.

Andrew Mitchell flew to New York straight from a visit to Pakistan where he had seen how UK aid was helping those affected by flooding. The new support could help millions more. He told the UN General Assembly it was 'unacceptable' that the international community had not done more, and urged other donors to step up their efforts.

Read the full press release

View our picture gallery to find out more on DFID's response. 

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Map showing flood-affected areas of Pakistan. Credit: OCHA

Map showing flood-affected areas of Pakistan. Credit: OCHA


18 August: UK Ministers see flood devastation

The worst could be yet to come for Pakistan, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said today during a visit to the country.

He made clear the UK was standing by Pakistan and announced a further allocation of UK support which will help fight the spread of disease; shelter displaced families; and provide more support - including food and medical supplies - to provinces in the south of Pakistan. This means that UK aid will now benefit up to three million people affected by the floods.

Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell and Minister Without Portfolio Baroness Warsi are in Pakistan to see how UK aid is helping those affected by the flooding and to assess if further help will be needed.

Andrew Mitchell announced UK support, incorporating a number of programmes to help the particularly hard-hit areas of Punjab and Sindh, which includes:

  • Tents and plastic sheeting for 15,000 families; 
  • Mobile clinics and other health initiatives to prevent the spread of diseases such as malaria and water-borne diseases; 
  • Speeding up the distribution of emergency aid; 
  • Working to provide food, clean water, medical supplies and shelter to an additional 375,000 people; 
  • Additional flights to deliver aid, including for around 280,000 people in need in inaccessible, mountainous areas in northern Pakistan.

As part of the UK’s contribution, another RAF flight carrying further aid is leaving for Pakistan today.

Speaking from Pakistan, Andrew Mitchell said:

"The people of Pakistan need help and they need it now. It is difficult to comprehend the extent of this tragedy. Nothing could have prepared me for the horrific scenes of destruction and devastation I have seen today.

"But the worst could still be to come. More heavy rains are expected, and as the River Indus rises, it threatens further damage to heavily populated areas in the south of the country.

"The additional help announced today will mean that tens of thousands of people will get food, shelter and medical help. But we need to support Pakistan for the long-term as well as giving short-term relief and I want the people of Pakistan to know the UK is standing by them."

Following the visit Andrew Mitchell will travel to New York for an emergency session of the UNGA called by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Andrew Mitchell will again urge greater international help.

Read the full press release


16 August: International response to floods in Pakistan 'woefully inadequate'

The international response to the Pakistan floods has been 'woefully inadequate' and other countries must do more to help, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said today.

Speaking ahead of a visit to Pakistan, Andrew Mitchell said many donor countries were failing to provide sufficient assistance to the millions of people affected by the crisis.

UK aid is already helping 1.5 million people in Pakistan, but more needs to be done internationally in response to the UN appeal for emergency assistance for the 20 million people affected by the floods.

The International Development Secretary confirmed that he will visit the region to get a better picture of what help is needed on the ground, to see how UK aid is helping the people of Pakistan, and to plan for long term recovery and reconstruction.

Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell said:

"The international response to this disaster has been woefully inadequate. Britain and the US have been at the forefront of the emergency aid effort but, as Ban Ki-Moon has urged, other wealthy countries must step up and lend their support.

"As the scale of the devastation becomes ever clearer, donor countries must accelerate their efforts. An area the size of England has so far been affected and thousands of villages have been swept away.

"If the international community fails to provide immediate support, this crisis will get worse and the suffering of millions of people will intensify. We must act and act now."

Read the full press release


15 August: RAF plane flies in more UK aid to Pakistan

DFID has called in another Royal Air Force C17 aircraft to assist in the flood relief effort in Pakistan. The C17 will take a load of tents and other supplies from a UN store in Dubai to the Peshawar Region of Pakistan.

Head of DFID’s Pakistan office, George Turkington, said:

"It's great that the Department for International Development, RAF, and the UN are working together to help people in Pakistan whose homes and lives have been washed away by the floods. This is the second RAF flight we have called in, this time bringing items for the UN, including tents, food, and health kits." 


11 August: More plane loads of UKaid for Pakistan

The UK will send four further plane loads of aid to Pakistan and provide additional assistance to help thousands more people affected by the monsoon flooding, Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell said today.  British aid to the country is already helping more than one million people.

Today’s announcement comes in response to the UN Appeal. Andrew Mitchell urged other countries to respond generously and urgently.

The planes, chartered by DFID, will arrive this week at Islamabad military airbase, bringing 1000 more tents, 9032 shelter kits to provide shelter for around 50,000 people, 24,000 water containers, and 48,625 blankets.

In addition, the UK Government will help more than 680,000 malnourished children and pregnant women by providing high energy food supplements, treating 18,000 severely malnourished children, and training 3,000 lady health workers to provide emergency health care such as rehydration treatment for children.

Andrew Mitchell, said:

“This is a disaster on a huge scale. The disaster zone is the size of England. Nearly seven million people are critically affected. 

“That’s why today I’m announcing further help for the people of Pakistan.

“The UK’s contribution to the emergency relief effort so far means we are providing vital life saving assistance for more than one million people in Pakistan. 

The scale of this disaster demands a major international effort.  I urge other countries to come forward to help the Pakistani people in their hour of need”.

Read the full press release


9 August: More tents arrive by RAF plane

Tents on board the RAF relief flight to Pakistan. Picture: Corporal Ashley Keates RAFA Royal Air Force C17 plane yesterday flew an additional 500 tents to help those affected by the Pakistan floods.  The tents will provide shelter for at least 2,500 people driven out of their homes by the flooding. The tents can be erected within half an hour and are designed to withstand extremely heavy rainfall and cold conditions.

The head of DFID's Pakistan office, George Turkington, met the plane as it landed at Chuklala airbase in Islamabad. He said:

“These are the worse floods Pakistan has ever seen. These 500 tents, along with the 2000 we’ve already provided, will give urgently needed shelter to thousands of people whose homes have been washed away by the monsoon floods.”

Britain is also supporting the Government of Pakistan's work to provide safe drinking water, hygiene kits, toilets, sewage clearance and waste removal, with £5 million to UNICEF, another £5 million for the Pakistan Emergency Response Fund, and bringing forward a £10 million project to provide new bridges to replace some of those washed away by the floods.


4 August: New help for Pakistan - tents to shelter thousands of families

The UK Government is sending 2,000 all-weather tents to flood-affected districts in Pakistan, Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development announced today.

The tents, which will be distributed by Save the Children, will provide all-weather shelter for families who have lost their homes in the recent floods. The tents could shelter up to 10,000 people.

He also announced that DFID will enable humanitarian experts and aid agencies to travel quickly to affected areas and kick-start their aid programmes, via emergency relief funding administered by the Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies.

Andrew Mitchell said:

"Thousands of people who have had their homes destroyed by the floods are in desperate need of all-weather tents. With more rains expected over the next few days, we must get aid to them as quickly as possible. 

"At the same time, our fast response funding will help get more disaster experts to flooded districts as quickly as possible to kick-start vital life-saving work."

Today's announcement comes in addition to the help for at least 800,000 people affected by the monsoon floods in Pakistan, announced by the UK Government on Monday. 

This will be channelled through UNICEF and will provide approximately 136,000 hygiene kits, 4,560 toilets, 336,000 bars of sanitising soap, 270,000 buckets/jerry cans, 400,000 water purification powder sachets and 800,000 water purification tablets to help prevent further death and disease of the children and people of Pakistan affected by the monsoon floods.

Read the full press release


2 August: UKaid for 800,000 affected by floods

The Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell has announced help for at least 800,000 people affected by the monsoon floods in Pakistan.

Britain will support the Government of Pakistan’s response effort to provide safe drinking water, hygiene kits, toilets, sewage clearance and waste removal.
New UKaid of £5 million will be channelled through UNICEF and will provide approximately 136,000 hygiene kits, 4,560 toilets, 336,000 bars of sanitising soap, 270,000 buckets/jerry cans, 400,000 water purification powder sachets and 800,000 water purification tablets to help prevent further death and disease of the children and people of Pakistan affected by the monsoon floods.

This is in addition to funding contributed by DFID to the Pakistan Emergency Response Fund, run by the United Nations. The UK contribution will provide food, shelter, water, sanitation, and healthcare to thousands of people affected by the floods. The UK was the first country to contribute to this new emergency response fund.

DFID has also agreed with the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to accelerate the provision of new bridges across the region to replace those washed away by the monsoon floods. DFID will also fund a team of engineers to work with the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to plan and deliver the bridges. Originally scheduled for the New Year, the start date for the £10 million project will be brought forward to start as soon as soon as possible after the recovery process makes access possible.

The relief effort, being led by the Government of Pakistan, includes urgent search and rescue operations, emergency shelter, food, drinking water, health care, and sanitation.

Speaking from Sierra Leone, Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, said:

“I know many British people are deeply concerned by the terrible suffering caused by the ongoing monsoon floods in Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan is leading the relief efforts, and the UK is ready to help in any way we can.

“The UK’s contribution to the emergency relief effort will help limit disease and further deaths by helping provide safe drinking water, food, toilets, medical care, and other essential items to at least 800,000 people in Pakistan affected by the monsoon floods.”

Last updated: 20 Sep 2010
Andrew Mitchell talks to a young flood survivor in Pir Sabak, Pakistan. Picture: Kate Joseph

Andrew Mitchell talks to a young flood survivor in Pir Sabak, Pakistan. Picture: Kate Joseph / DFID

Khapay Ria, two-year-old Summaya and three-year-old Salman. Picture: ActionAid

Khapay Ria received a UKaid funded relief package which helped her family resettle in their home. Picture: ActionAid

Photo of Andrew Mitchell and Baroness Warsi in Pakistan

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell and Baroness Warsi during the ministers' visit to Pakistan where they saw how UK aid is helping those in need. Picture: Vicki Francis / DFID

Save the Children volunteers assisting in distribution of tents provided by DFID. Picture: Save the Children

Save the Children volunteers assisting in distribution of tents provided by DFID. Picture: Save the Children
See more photos on Flickr

Picture of Nadeem, Pakistan flood survivor

Flood survivor Nadeem, 13, from Girlagan, north-western Pakistan. Picture: Save the Children

The recent flooding in Pakistan has devastated large areas of the country. Photo: UNICEF/mogwanja

The recent flooding in Pakistan has devastated large areas of the country. Picture: UNICEF/mogwanja