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One year on, Pakistanís flood survivors recovering and rebuilding lives

Children attend the
opening of a new
child- friendly space in
their village supported
by Plan.
Children attend the opening of a new child- friendly space in their village supported by Plan.
July 12, 2011

A year after Pakistan's worst floods in modern history killed around 2,000 and displaced millions, Plan has helped hundreds of thousands of families recover and rebuild their lives with better access to clean water, schools and child-friendly spaces.

As the heavy monsoon rains left a fifth of the country under water and displaced an eighth of its 170-million population, Plan ramped up its local operations to provide emergency relief for a quarter of a million people, and will reach out to provide recovery and rehabilitation support to over 1 million people in the worst affected areas by September 2011.

"The floods hit the most vulnerable, especially children, the hardest and Plan is now focusing on longer-term projects to better prepare communities to face natural disasters in the future," Plan Pakistan's country director Haider Yaqub said. "Children are affected by natural disasters in complex and far-reaching ways. Their well-being is key to communities' long-term recovery," Yaqub continued.

To help children process the tragedy and recover, Plan and local partners have set up 301 child-friendly spaces where children can play, share and talk freely. Some 20,300 children have been provided with psychosocial support delivered through structured and supervised play and learning activities in a safe space.

Plan has been working in the worst-hit parts in the south and east of the country, home to those affected by the floods. In the province of Sindh, in the south-east, efforts have been concentrated in Ghotki, Khairpur, and Thatta, three of the province's 23 districts. In the eastern province of Punjab, Plan's projects are in the districts of Layyah, Muzaffargarh, and Rajanpur, the worst affected of the province's 36 districts.

Plan will continue to work with local partners to help reopen 390 schools, to roll out 23 cash-for-work schemes, to improve rural sanitation and to undertake other long-term rehabilitation and disaster preparedness initiatives.

Clean water and sanitation are integral parts of any humanitarian crisis response, to avoid diseases and malnutrition. Water contamination and sanitation are estimated to be responsible for 60% of child mortality cases in Pakistan, where 45% of the rural community defecate in the open. To address the sanitation problem more widely, Plan has initiated a community-led total sanitation approach which will reach over 1 million people in rural areas across 30 flood-affected districts.

Plan has been operating in Pakistan since 1997, helping marginalized children to access their rights to health, education, livelihood support and protection. Through long-term programs we work with around 150 communities across the country, benefiting over 50,000 children.

Read Plan's report, Pakistan Floods: One Year On.

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