A flood-affected man sits along with his children alongside flood waters after heavy monsoon rains in Jaffarabad, Balochistan, on Wednesday. - AFP

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a sexual and reproductive health agency, has highlighted the affliction of Pakistani women caused by the catastrophic floods, saying that over half a million pregnant women in the flood-hit areas are in dire need of maternal health services while many other are at an increased risk of gender-based violence (GBV).

At least 6.4 million people require humanitarian assistance after being hit by the floods triggered by the recent torrential monsoon rains and 1.6 million of them are women and girls.

“Up to 73,000 women expected to deliver next month will need skilled birth attendants, newborn care, and support. In addition, many women and girls are at an increased risk of gender-based violence (GBV) as almost 1 million houses have been damaged,” a UNFP report stated.

The Agency said that pregnancies and childbirth can’t wait for emergencies or natural disasters to be over and it is a state when both the mother and baby are vulnerable and need the most care.

UNFP’s Pakistan Representative Dr Bakhtior Kadirov said the Agency is on ground, working with partners, to ensure that pregnant women and new mothers continue receiving life-saving services even under the most challenging conditions.

As per the report, over 1,000 health facilities have been partially or fully damaged in Sindh, whereas 198 health facilities are damaged in affected districts in Balochistan, compromising girls’ and women’s access to them.

Dr Kadirov said that the UNFPA will continue supporting health facilities with the equipment and human resources to be fully operational despite the challenges.

“UNFPA is scaling up its emergency response to provide life-saving reproductive health services and commodities, including dignity kits, for women and girls,” the report read.

Meanwhile, UNFPA Pakistan has already started the distribution of 8,311 dignity kits, 7,411 Newborn Baby Kits, and 6,412 Clean Delivery Kits for immediate delivery to Sindh, Balochistan, KP, and Punjab.

Moreover, it is also prioritising gender-based violence prevention and response services, including medical and psychosocial support to the GBV survivors.

APPLE TO DONATE FOR FLOOT-HIT: Apple has announced that it will donate in the relief and recovery efforts being taken on the ground in in Pakistan following devastating flood-induced rains that have affected millions of lives. 

The announcement was made by Apple’s CEO Tim Cook on Twitter that Apple will donate to relief and recovery efforts on the ground.

“The floods in Pakistan and surrounding areas are devastating humanitarian disasters. Our thoughts are with those that have lost loved ones, the many displaced families, and all those affected. Apple will donate to relief and recovery efforts on the ground,” wrote Cook.

World’s youngest Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai offered thanks to the Apple’s CEO for his support. 

“Thank you Tim and Apple for providing support to Pakistan in this very difficult time,” she said. 

JEMIMA RECOMMENDS AL-KHIDMAT FOR DONATIONS: Jemima Goldsmith, the former wife of PTI chairperson Imran Khan, has recommended Jamaat-e-Islami’s Al-Khidmat Foundation Pakistan for donations to help the victims of floods in Pakistan, according to Geo News.

Goldsmith shared the account details of the Al-Khidmat Foundation in a tweet. 

“Alkhidmat is doing rescue and relief work in all of flood affected areas. Donate here, http://alkhidmat.org/give,” she wrote.

Jemima has asked the netizens to guide her on who to donate to. 

“33 million in Pakistan affected by the devastating floods. 1000+ killed. 200K+ homes destroyed. Pakistan produces less than 1% of global carbon emissions. But it’s one of the top 10 countries most affected by the climate crisis,” she tweeted.

Shen then asked: “Which is the best charity to donate to for on the ground support?”

Jemima shared account details of Punjab and KP governments, asking for donations in these accounts.

She was then told by several social media users that Al-Khidmat Foundation was doing an amazing job through its volunteer network across Pakistan and must be helped.

In response, she appealed to her followers to give money to Al-Khidmat Foundation.

Internet users have recommended names of several charities to her. Al-Khidmat Foundation has earned a lot of goodwill in recent days after pictures and videos of its volunteers went viral while actually helping flood victims in some of the most difficult terrains. 

In the past, volunteers of Hafiz Saeed’s party were often seen helping and rescue efforts but due to the ban on the party and his network, his volunteers have not been seen in action.

The Al-Khidmat Foundation has posted videos of their volunteers getting involved in rescue effort, saving lives and putting their lives in danger to rescue the trapped people. 

In several areas of Punjab, TLP’s volunteers have also been seen helping the flood victims. The party’s leader Saad Rizvi was amongst the first to reach in the flooded areas.

 

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