Floods double protection risks for women and children
ISLAMABAD: In the wake of massive floods which uprooted millions from their homes, the risk of gender-based violence and child protection concerns have increased twofold since the deluge swept across Pakistan.
“The flooding has compounded protection risks, such as family separation, gender-based violence (GBV), and theft and assault…and women and girls remain acutely vulnerable” to violence, said the Protection Sector — a coordinating body for humanitarian protection activities, comprising UN and non-UN agencies and other stakeholders.
According to recent International Rescue Committee assessments in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, more than half of women in these provinces had insufficient access to suitable latrine facilities. They also faced growing vulnerability to violence while using WASH facilities whereas 100 and 65 per cent of surveyed women and girls in Sindh and KP, respectively, reported inadequate access to menstrual hygiene items.
The assessments also identified safe spaces and shelters for women and children as priority needs, with people in displacement sites facing heightened protection risks and insecurity.
WFP deploys 14 mobile storage units
Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) continued to lead the Logistics Working Group and coordinate with the government to bolster the movement and distribution of humanitarian assistance in affected areas.
So far, WFP has deployed 14 mobile storage units in Karachi and established five warehouses located in Quetta, Karachi, Sukkur, Peshawar, and Multan districts. Furthermore, Logistics Working Group partners and the government had established four humanitarian response hubs across Balochistan, Punjab, KP, and Sindh.
IOM efforts for shelter
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Pakistan and its partners were providing emergency shelter to some of the estimated 10m people displaced from their homes by the flooding. IOM and its partner ACTED have started distributing 25,000 shelter kits to families in Thul tehsil, in Jacobabad district, said IOM Chief of Mission Mio Sato.
IOM is managing the distribution hub in Sukkur where teams were working around the clock to receive, process and assemble kits, load trucks, and work with partners to deliver the shelter kits. At least, 300,000 individuals (25,000 families) are expected to immediately benefit from the kits, which were donated by USAID.