Japan announces grant of $38.9m for Pakistan flood victims

In August of this year, the world watched in horror as Pakistan was struck by unprecedented floods that rendered over one million people displaced and around 1,700 dead.

According to the Japanese Embassy statement, the projects will commence in January 2023 and Tokyo “will support the affected population in various social and economic dimensions in partnership with WHO, UNFPA, FAO, UNDP, UNICEF, WFP, UNWOMEN, UNHCR, and IPPF in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and Punjab provinces, as well as the Islamabad Capital Territory.”

The statement added that the proposed areas for support included “emergency medical assistance, food distribution, agriculture and livestock restoration, livelihood recreation, and gender-based violence risk mitigation and response.”

It pointed out that “the unprecedented levels of flooding have triggered a multi-dimensional humanitarian crisis, leaving the affected population with increased health risks and food insecurity, insecure livelihoods, and heightened vulnerabilities to gender-based violence.”

The communiqué said the Japanese government “will also provide support through JICA, equivalent to $4.7m, for recovery from the floods in health, agriculture, education, gender, and resilient disaster management.”

The statement also highlighted how Japan provided $7m as an emergency grant to address the immediate impact of the floods earlier in September.

“The Government of Japan, with a long-standing partnership with Pakistan, stands ready to support the people of Pakistan to overcome the ongoing humanitarian crisis,” it said.

This year’s flood catastrophe has been compared to the 2010 floods that left almost 20 per cent of Pakistan’s population homeless, destroyed homes, crops, and infrastructure, and left millions vulnerable to malnutrition and waterborne diseases.

In October, the UN revised up its humanitarian appeal for Pakistan five-fold, to $816m from $160m, as a surge of water-borne diseases and fear of growing hunger posed new dangers after weeks of unprecedented flooding.

Latest data and estimates show nearly 1,700 people have been killed in the floods and their aftermath caused by heavy monsoon rains and melting glaciers. Thousands more have been displaced and the UN has sounded the alarm on the rise of water-borne diseases in the country, particularly among the flood-hit population.

Government estimates the cost of the damage at $30 billion, and both the government and the UN have blamed the catastrophe on climate change.

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