Islamabad, 19 August 2023 (TDI): The Government of France has taken a significant step towards supporting vulnerable communities in flood-affected regions in Pakistan.

Allocating a substantial amount of €3 million in aid, France aims to fortify the humanitarian efforts led by UNICEF, focusing on healthcare and immunization services in the most impacted districts of Sindh province.

This substantial contribution stems from the outcomes of the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan, co-hosted by the United Nations and the Government of Pakistan earlier this year in Geneva.

As a testament to global solidarity, the conference garnered essential international backing for flood recovery, long-term rehabilitation, and the development of strategies to enhance Pakistan’s climate resilience and adaptation.

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Nicolas Galey, Ambassador of France to Pakistan, highlighted, “Children, often the most affected during crises and natural calamities, bear enduring invisible wounds. France is delighted to join hands with UNICEF to extend the reach of primary healthcare and advance immunization services to the most vulnerable communities in Sindh.”

The Sindh province bore the brunt of last year’s devastating floods, causing considerable upheaval among its populace. Approximately 14.5 million people were adversely affected, leading to the destruction of nearly 1,000 health facilities.

Consequently, communities were displaced, health workers were rendered unable to operate, and medical supplies and services were seriously disrupted.

In response to the crisis, UNICEF has made commendable strides over the past year, serving over 3.6 million individuals with primary healthcare services in flood-ravaged areas.

However, for many communities, access to adequate healthcare remains an unattainable aspiration.

As the monsoon season approaches, the health risks for children and women in flood-affected regions intensify.

The rampant spread of diseases like malaria, dengue, and Acute Watery Diarrhea exacerbates the situation.

This substantial funding from France empowers UNICEF to amplify vital healthcare provisions and reinforce immunization services during this critical period.

Abdullah Fadil, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan, underscored the importance of France’s contribution, stating, “Amidst the challenges posed by the climate-induced disaster of the devastating floods in 2022, France’s generous funding emerges as a beacon of hope. It allows us to address immediate healthcare needs and strengthen immunization efforts.”

Despite contributing less than 1% of global greenhouse emissions, Pakistan remains one of the most susceptible countries to climate change.

Urgent climate action requires strong global cooperation and lasting partnerships to protect vulnerable lives and indispensable services.