Islamabad, 2 September 2022 (TDI): Pakistan has witnessed severe floods that have impacted 33 million people. There are many pregnant women among them. On-site reproductive health care is being provided by UNFPA and there is a contribution of the agency to the larger UN humanitarian effort as well.

UNFPA: Flood Relief Efforts

More than 1.6 million of the 6.4 million people in Pakistan that require humanitarian supplies as a result of the Monsoon rains, floods, and landslides are women. According to the Pakistani government, 8.2 million women of reproductive age are among the estimated 33 million afflicted people nationwide.

Additionally, according to UNFPA, which is the United Nations Population Fund, about 650,000 pregnant women in flood-affected areas need maternal and neonatal services. This is to guarantee a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Moreover, up to 73,000 expectant mothers will require competent delivery attendants, neonatal care, and support in the upcoming month. Additionally, because of the destruction of nearly 1 million homes, many women and girls are at a heightened risk of gender-based violence (GBV).

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The UNFPA Pakistan Representative Dr. Bakhtior Kadirov said, “Pregnancies and childbirth can’t wait for emergencies or natural disasters to be over. This is when a woman and baby are vulnerable and need the most care. UNFPA is on the ground, working with partners, to ensure that pregnant women and new mothers continue receiving life-saving services even under the most challenging conditions.”

Moving ahead, impacts on infrastructure are having a serious multiplier effect on the humanitarian situation. In Sindh province, more than 1,000 medical institutions have suffered full or partial damage, while 198 medical facilities are destroyed in Baluchistan’s afflicted districts.

Apart from that, girls’ and women’s access to healthcare services has also been hampered by the destruction of roads and bridges.

Dr. Kadirov also said, “We will continue supporting health facilities with the equipment and human resources to be fully operational despite the challenging humanitarian conditions.”

Also, in order to give women and girls access to essential reproductive health services and supplies, such as dignity kits, UNFPA is stepping up its emergency response. In all, 8,311 dignity kits, 7,411 newborn baby kits, and 6,412 major success kits have been purchased by UNFPA Pakistan for immediate delivery to Sindh, Baluchistan, KP, and Punjab.

He further added, “These kits are already being distributed. Additionally, UNFPA offers vital reproductive health services throughout Pakistan, including the referral of challenging situations that arise during pregnancy and childbirth.”