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Feature Christmas 2022: BMJ Annual Appeal

The BMJ Appeal 2022-23: Tackling the aftermath of Pakistan’s record floods

BMJ 2022; 379 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o2898 (Published 15 December 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;379:o2898
  1. Jane Feinmann, freelance journalist
  1. London
  1. jane{at}janefeinmann.com

Mass floods have brought tragedy and hardship to millions in Pakistan. Jane Feinmann hears from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the beneficiary of this year’s BMJ appeal

Monsoon rains this year brought the worst flooding in Pakistan’s history and catastrophe for Jamila, a mother of four (soon to be five) children living in a village close to Larkana, in the southern province of Sindh in the Indus valley.

“We lost our belongings including household items, the little money that we had, as well as our livestock,” Jamila told the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

More than 33 million people were affected by the longlasting floods, which left 4.5 million displaced from their homes and 1600 dead. Throughout September 2022, a third of Pakistan’s landmass—a quarter of the country and equivalent to the whole of Spain—was under water. Hundreds of villages were still waterlogged in early October. Reports describe “miles and miles of helpless, hungry, hopeless humanity” living along thin strips of raised land, usually roads—alongside venomous snakes, rabid dogs, and scorpions. Children are seen playing in water fouled from damaged sewers.

With food markets and local health facilities out of …

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