One year on from the start of the Pakistan floods, we have provided assistance to more than 285,000 people. The floods began at the end of July 2010 following exceptional monsoon rains in the north of the country.

Villagers build new shelters using the kits we provided (Photo: Robert Cruickhank / CAFOD)

The flash floods caused widespread destruction to lives and prop-erty and resulted in the deaths of over 1,150 people in the north-ern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Within days, the heavy flooding moved south along the Indus River in what was described as a “slow-motion tsunami”. At one point, approximately one-fifth of Pakistan was under water – an area larger than England. More than 18 million people, out of the population of 180 million, were directly affected. Around 2,000 people were killed.

The most urgent needs were getting food, clean water, medical care and shelter to those affected by the disaster. The situation now is that the vast majority of people have returned to their towns and villages. However, shelter continues to be an urgent priority as the majority of people cannot afford the costs of repairs and so continue to live in temporary shelters.

At least 450,000 families still need permanent shelter. Helping people to earn a living again is a major priority, so that individuals, families and communities can once again become self-reliant. The timing is very important especially for the local farmers so that they are able to plant in season and not lose another harvest.

Jed Murphy

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