Flooding in BrazilBrazil is a country that is prone to flooding due to its extensive river systems, tropical climate and deforestation. Flooding had significant impacts on poverty in Brazil, affecting vulnerable populations and exacerbating existing social and economic inequalities. Brazil suffered an economic loss of $6.1 billion during 142 flooding events from 1900 to 2016. The World Bank reported that an estimated 2.75 million people in Brazil lived in extreme poverty from 2016 to 2021. The country’s GDP per capita has decreased dramatically since 2017, falling from $9,896 falling to $7,507 as of 2021.

Displacement & Infrastructure Damage

Flooding in Brazil often results in the displacement of people from their homes, particularly those living in informal settlements or slums known as favelas. The Organisation for World Peace (OWP) reported 4,000 residents of Sao Paulo facing displacement after ongoing flooding in February 2023. Recent flooding and landslides have damaged and/or destroyed infrastructure and communities in the regions of Sao Sebastiao, Barra do Sahy, Juquehy, Camburi, Boicucanga and Ubatuba.

Health Impacts

Water infrastructure has been either destroyed or severely damaged leading to authorities delivering drinking water in tank trucks throughout the affected areas, according to Worlds Aid. Flooding causes infections and bacteria to rampage through communities, with the most common being waterborne diseases, but others such as tetanus and bacterial infections are also present. The National Library of Medicine reported that from 2010 to 2014, Brazil had a total loss of R$ 9.2 billion ($1,845,240,412.00) due to flooding damages.

Social Vulnerability

Vulnerable communities such as indigenous populations face greater challenges when dealing with the impacts and recovery of flooding. These communities are less likely to gain access to health care services, and this exposes them to waterborne diseases.

Brazil’s agricultural sector has seen devastating declines since 2003, falling as low as 4.1% in 2010. However, reports in 2021 have shown an increase to 6.9%, the highest since 1994. The biggest influencer of this is climate change and floods, affecting vulnerable rural communities like farmers and creating further poverty in Brazil in these sectors.

Ongoing Efforts

The World Bank has provided over $100 million in an investment project to mitigate natural disasters in southern Brazil with the intent to construct disaster-prone economic hubs. Around 800 municipalities in the Southern regions are eligible to strengthen their urban resilience through this trust fund investment. In June 2022, the EU allocated a humanitarian fund of $1 million to several Brazilian municipalities which the floods affected. It provided for the rebuilding of infrastructure like schools and houses.

CAF America works with nonprofit organizations to establish funding and support for Brazil. Acao Cidadania, a humanitarian organization, has donated more than 200 tons of food and water amid the ongoing flooding crisis in Sao Paulo in 2023. And in December 2021, the Brazilian Red Cross launched the DREF operation in response to the heavy flooding and extreme weather that declared 155 of 417 municipalities in a state of emergency in Bahia. The Red Cross distributed vouchers to 800 families that covered the necessities. The organization provided 800 blankets and 300 mattresses to affected families, administered first-aid to more than 300 people, provided mental health and psychosocial support to 800 evacuated families and distributed water filters to 800 households.

Looking Ahead

With many residents prone to flooding, extreme poverty in Brazil is an issue that still affects vulnerable and poor communities. However, humanitarian groups continue to make efforts to provide additional support for those affected.

– Joshua Rogers
Photo: Flickr

Innovative Startups in Pakistan
As per World Bank data, 36.4% of the population in Pakistan lived in poverty in 2021. Recently, a few innovative startups have emerged to provide affordable and cost-efficient solutions to people in low-income households. By providing sustainable solutions to some of the country’s most pressing problems, these innovative startups in Pakistan are helping to create a sustainable future for all, especially those the recent floods hit.

5 Innovative Startups in Pakistan

  1. ModulusTech. Founded in 2017, this innovative startup specializes in providing affordable portable houses. In Pakistan, more than 20 million people lost their homes during the floods of 2022. ModulusTech provides a housing solution that is “quick, simple and economical.” ModulusTech says it takes as little as three hours to set up one of its shelters. The environment-friendly housing solutions use local materials and have a low carbon footprint, leading to less wastage. Furthermore, the shelter structures are disaster-resilient, a feature that makes ModulusTech stand out as an excellent innovative startup. ModulusTech won first prize in Pakistan’s edition of the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP) in 2017. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) runs the GCIP in partnership with the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Later, the company won the Special Commendation Award with a grant of $20,000 in the global edition of GCIP in Los Angeles.
  2. Aabshar. Water scarcity in Pakistan is a concern, yet water wastage is not uncommon. Aabshar is an innovative startup in Pakistan that aims to tackle water scarcity and ensure water conservation. Aabshar is a clean-tech business that has developed an optimized nozzle to prevent water wastage without impacting water flow, ensuring up to 98% in water savings. People can place this nozzle on taps and other outlets in less than 30 seconds. The nozzle is simple to install and reduces power use by 60%. Aabshar, with its low-cost nozzles, has saved 1.3 billion liters of water in Pakistan, positively impacting 236 million lives.
  3. EcoEnergy. In July 2022, Pakistan experienced a 46.77% hike in power prices. This makes access to electrical energy very expensive for poor households. In order to mitigate energy poverty, a Karachi-based eco-friendly business, EcoEnergy, offers energy-efficient solutions to household and commercial clients. Some of its products and services include solar panels, LED lighting and energy assessments. The company extends its customer base not only to cities but also to remote areas. EcoEnergy also provides insightful information on the importance of green energy through its detailed website. This startup has already installed 1.2 megawatts of power in the last two years.
  4. PakVitae. PakVitae is an innovative startup in Pakistan that aims to provide affordable water purification solutions to those living in distress. In Pakistan, around “36% of the population has access to safely managed water,” Globalwaters.org says. People that the recent floods displaced are more vulnerable to water-borne diseases. In the province of Sindh, 134,000 people contracted diarrhea in September 2022 due to the use of contaminated water. PakVitae has launched a cost-effective product that does not require electricity — ‘Water Ka Doctor’ cleans impure water by removing bacteria and other harmful germs that cause diarrhea, typhoid and cholera. Water Ka Doctor is a filter made of fiber membranes that easily attach to a tap. It can provide up to 10,000 liters of filtered water and can serve a family of five for two years. For flood victims, PakVitae has a specially-designed 15-liter water container with a built-in filter. People can purchase this product to donate to flood victims at a 20% discount. PakVitae led a project in Faisalabad that provides drinkable, clean water to around 1,000 people.
  5. BreatheIO. Globally, Pakistan ranks seventh worst in terms of quality of air, according to the Air Quality Index. As a digital health firm, BreatheIO offers the solution to this problem. BreatheIO is an innovative startup that provides air monitors and purifiers at an affordable price. BreatheIO employs advanced technologies like AI, machine learning and data analytics to assist patients and health care professionals in managing respiratory conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COVID-19 and asthma. Along with the Smart Air Purifier, this startup provides a user-friendly and detailed mobile app. Users of the BreatheIO platform can register their symptoms and follow the evolution of their lung function using this mobile app. Moreover, the app offers insights and suggestions depending on the data of the users, assisting them in better managing their health.

Looking Ahead

These innovative startups in Pakistan are helping to create a more sustainable and equitable world and play an important role in the fight against poverty in Pakistan.

– Sarmad Wali Khan
Photo: Flickr

Period Poverty in Pakistan
Pakistan has some of the highest rates of period poverty globally, largely resulting from the persistent taboos that surround the issue of menstruation. As much as 80% of young girls in Pakistan drop out of school, partly due to a lack of menstrual education and inadequate supplies/facilities to adequately manage their menstruation. In some rural areas, women are restricted to a single room during their menstrual cycles. With recent floods destroying both homes and sanitation facilities in some areas, many women have no choice but to resort to harmful menstrual management practices.

Period Poverty and the 2022 Floods

In 2022, Pakistan saw some of the worst flooding in the nation’s history. The floods led to the deaths of 1,700 people at a minimum and displaced about 8 million individuals due to the destruction of homes. The floods had numerous knock-on effects, including increased period poverty in Pakistan.

Water submerged more than a third of the country during the height of Pakistan’s 2022 floods, leaving more than 8 million women without the necessary resources or facilities to properly manage their menstruation. During the floods, women resorted to using “plastic bags, leaves, damp newspapers, damp rags and old clothes” due to the lack of proper menstrual products.

Researchers from Aga Khan University Hospital conducted a study on menstrual hygiene among women aged 14-49 in Dadu district, Sindh province, an area that recent floods in Pakistan harshly impacted. Researchers noted that from 2019 to 2021, roughly 40% of the 25,000 females surveyed were not using any menstrual products at all.

While many organizations and national governments came to Pakistan’s aid, pledging more than $9 billion, relief packages did not prioritize menstrual aid as Pakistani society typically avoids the taboo topic. Period poverty and the use of unhygienic alternatives to manage menstruation along with a lack of hygiene facilities can lead to serious health implications, such as infections, toxic shock syndrome and vaginal diseases.

Pakistan heavily taxes menstrual products, placing them under a so-called “luxury tax” despite their necessity. Many women, especially in rural areas, simply cannot afford these supplies, resulting in “79[%]of Pakistani women [suffering] from poor menstrual hygiene every month,” according to The Diplomat.

Mahwari Justice

Mahwari Justice is a menstrual flood relief group that two students, Bushra Mahnoor and Anum Khalid, set up in July 2022. They have distributed menstrual hygiene products in Pakistan since the beginning of last year’s floods. The group believes that breaking the stigma around period poverty is one of the main hurdles when it comes to enabling more women to access period products in Pakistan. The students are unapologetic in the face of taboo with the name Mahwari simply translating to “periods” in Urdu.

The group adapts its menstrual kits to different areas based on the extent of the flooding impacts. For example, for the 660,000 people living in disaster relief camps in Pakistan in September 2022, washable products that can be reused are not suitable given poor water and sanitation access.

However, in areas less affected, teaching women to make their own reusable period products is an effective long-term solution. Mahwari Justice provided 20,000 menstrual kits to females in need at the peak of Pakistan’s 2022 floods. The group has pledged to continue fighting to end period poverty in Pakistan, not only in light of the recent flooding but also to create a brighter future for women and girls in Pakistan.

By putting girls and women at the forefront of relief efforts, aid organizations can prioritize the needs of some of the most marginalized individuals.

– Florence Jones
Photo: Flickr

Nottingham Forest and the UNCHR
Across Europe, the world’s finest football teams often sport morally reprehensible betting companies and loan sharks abreast their jerseys. Fans across Europe not only accept but also expect trading moral integrity for financial gain. In December 2022, Nottingham Forest Football Club decided that its football players would wear the crimson-red Garibaldi symbol of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) on their shirts in the premier league to advocate for global change. Nottingham Forest and the UNCHR have forged a partnership that could raise expectations of sporting institutions across Europe.

About the UNCHR

Since its foundation in 1950, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has provided aid to refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced people and those without a state to call home. The UNCHR is the largest and most significant NGO to wage war against the displacement of the persecuted.

The Issue of Displacement

Despite forward momentum in many socio-economic issues across the globe, there is unprecedented displacement in both the developed and undeveloped worlds. For the first time in recorded history, approximately half of the displaced individuals reside in urban areas.

Displacement occurs due to conflict, violence and persecution, which are all abundant in the modern world. There are active armed conflicts in Palestine, Ukraine and Afghanistan, mass human rights violations in Myanmar and ongoing genocide in China. Consequently, 2021 yielded the highest number of forcibly displaced people the world has witnessed since World War II. Indeed, 89.3 million people forcibly fled their homes in 2021.

How the UNCHR Provides Shelter

As of 2022, more than 6.6 million refugees are living in camps, demonstrating how homelessness manifests as a result of displacement. Whilst camps can provide decent emergency shelters, issues such as isolation, aid dependency, disease, fire, sanitation and personal safety arise.

When all other solutions have been exhausted, the UNCHR constructs settlements for displaced individuals. The UNCHR has formulated a master plan approach, which strives to provide shelter that does not fall foul of the previously stated risks. Well-planned settlements are not prone to fire or disease outbreaks, as sanitation and spacing are well-managed. Food, water, toilets and medical care are all within walking distance of a resident of the ideal settlement. Footpaths should always be well-lit, as there is also a particular emphasis on safety for women.

To avoid the risks that encumber vast refugee camps and settlements, the UNCHR distributes tents and materials from centers in Dubai, Copenhagen and Durban. It also invests in communal shelters and new homes. Furthermore, the UNCHR provides self-help schemes that assist displaced individuals in reconstructing and constructing new homes.

The UNCHR in Pakistan

When a barrage of severe flooding struck Pakistan in late 2022, the UNCHR sprung into action. The enormous monsoon impacted the lives of 33 million Pakistani people, killing more than a thousand. Those who remained faced the grim prospect of homelessness during a natural disaster, as the flood destroyed 300,000 homes and damaged 650,000 more.

During the aftermath, the UNCHR coordinated closely with Pakistani authorities. Tireless UNCHR volunteers helped distribute some 10,000 tents to the devastated Khyber Pakhtunkwa and Balochistan regions. The UNCHR has pledged to assist 50,000 households by providing shelter, food and clean water to the most vulnerable victims of this disaster. In addition to providing immediate relief, the UNCHR is liaising with local authorities to build up stockpiles of essential amenities should the flooding escalate.

Why the Partnership Between Nottingham Forest and the UNCHR is One to Celebrate

Fans of Nottingham Forest should be proud of their club. Sitting in the Trent End or the Brian Clough Stand, they will see the UNCHR featured on red banners, screens and flags. They will hear the announcer pay tribute to the refugees of Pakistan and elsewhere. But most importantly, the 4.7 billion fans who tune in to watch the premier league will see a football club that proudly uses its enormous platform to fight against poverty. If every football team in team Europe were to trade a sponsor for a charity of the UNCHR’s merit, billions of people would have exposure to charitable causes daily. Indeed, if every team in every sport were like-minded, the televised sport could become a vehicle for enormous social change. In the meantime, fans of positive change can celebrate that Nottingham Forest and the UNCHR are making a start.

– David Smith
Photo: Flickr

Flood Crisis in Pakistan
In 2022, Pakistan experienced severe, unprecedented flooding. Floods submerged fields, crops and villages underwater and completely destroyed homes and public buildings. While the flooding in Pakistan has devastated the country as a whole, it has had an especially severe impact on children. Currently, UNICEF estimates there are about 10 million children in need of lifesaving support as a result of the floods.


Pakistan’s monsoon season began in June 2022 and has impacted all four provinces. As of November 18, 2022, the floods had affected more than 33 million people, killing close to 2,000 people. Previously, in 2010, Pakistan experienced another period of severe flooding. The situation then warranted a significant international response. At that time, the flooding was thought to be the worst there had ever been but the Center for Disaster Philanthropy reports that Pakistani authorities say that the flooding of 2022 surpasses the 2010 situation in severity. Further reports estimate that more than 20 million people need aid as a result of the flooding and that multidimensional poverty could increase by almost 6%. Additionally, the flood crisis in Pakistan has affected the food security of millions, killed more than 1 million livestock, damaged large percentages of rice and cotton crops and displaced almost 8 million people.

Specific Concerns for Children

As of early January 2023, the flood crisis in Pakistan threatens the lives and well-being of close to 10 million children. Out of them, about 4 million children are especially vulnerable, due to living near polluted or stagnant flood waters. UNICEF reports that the rates of acute respiratory infections for children living in these areas have risen rapidly. Additionally, the rates of severe acute malnutrition for children in these same areas have also increased drastically. The onset of severe winter weather further heightens these two factors. Abdullah Fadil, the UNICEF Representative in Pakistan, notes in a statement, “Severe acute malnutrition, respiratory and water-borne diseases coupled with the cold are putting millions of young lives at risk.”

A major increase in food insecurity further complicates the problems of malnutrition and respiratory diseases in children in Pakistan. As the floods destroyed large amounts of crops and livestock, food insecurity numbers have reached emergency levels in some parts of the country, which may have long-term implications for children who are already malnourished. The floods also damaged many water supply systems and sanitation facilities, leaving children with no access to clean water. Furthermore, flooding destroyed many public health buildings, making access to medical care and treatment difficult or impossible for many children. While many of the issues that children in Pakistan face are treatable, like malnutrition, the lack of access to treatment makes their situation much more serious.


As winter is in full swing, immediate action and aid are necessary to save the lives of children who the flood crisis in Pakistan impacted. UNICEF, for example, has been on the ground, providing emergency supplies, screening children for malnutrition and immunizing children against polio. The organization has appealed for $173.5 million to provide support for women and children in Pakistan. As of January 9, 2023, this appeal has only been 37% funded.

As Pakistan is one of the world’s most vulnerable nations in regard to changing weather patterns, with warming rates significantly above the average level, extreme weather conditions like the latest floods could happen again. These events are particularly harmful to at-risk populations, like children. Thus, it is the responsibility of not only the authorities in Pakistan but the entire international community to take action on their behalf. As of January 10, 2023, more than $9 billion had been pledged to support Pakistan’s recovery. While this is a positive step for the nation as a whole, millions of children who remain in danger as a result of the flood crisis still need attention.

– Johanna Bunn
Photo: Flickr

Flooding in Pakistan Pakistan experiences a yearly monsoon season typically beginning in mid-June and lasting until late August. An abnormally extreme monsoon season in 2022, primarily affecting the Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, has led to torrential rainfall. This 2022 rainfall has led to disastrous flooding in Pakistan, reportedly killing at least 1,700 and displacing 7.9 million.

As living conditions rapidly decline for those in the most heavily affected regions, the people that have been historically discriminated against receive the most serious repercussions. The provinces hit hardest by the flooding were housing an estimated 800,000 Afghan refugees. Given the falling value of their currency, coupled with the destruction of their homes and schools, many in most affected areas, 70% of which are women and children, have no options to reconstruct their lives, UNICEF reports. Waterborne diseases are raising concerns in these areas, as many are unable to leave despite the destruction.

Why Does This Keep Happening? 

Global climate change was not the only factor that led to the flooding, nor was this the first instance of extreme flooding in Pakistan’s recent history. In 2010, Pakistan experienced similarly extreme flooding. Since then, Pakistan has done little to reinforce its natural disaster prevention infrastructure and on top of this, Pakistan faces an imminent economic crisis. The inflation rate in Pakistan approached 27% in August 2022 and the Pakistani rupee crashed, causing Pakistan to require aid from wealthier countries to pay for the immense amount of damage caused by the flooding.


The UNHCR is spearheading the efforts to provide tents, blankets and other necessities to those affected most by the flooding in Pakistan. In September 2022, the UNHCR delivered over 10,000 metric tons of goods to those affected, with a special focus on the Afghan refugees. Additionally, UNHCR ran rapid needs assessments with the aid of the Pakistani government, along with mobilizing female-centered support, as women and children are among the most affected by the floods.

In addition to the UNHCR, the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) has been working to provide food to those Pakastani flood victims, including those in relief camps. The WFP has “reached more than 400,000 people with food assistance in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh provinces.” The WFP has also provided especially nutritious food to children and pregnant women in an effort to push back against increasing levels of malnutrition in the wake of widespread crop destruction.

A post-disaster that the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives led has begun in an effort to develop a recovery plan for the government moving forward. 

How Does the Future Look for Pakistan?

Though climate change played an important role in causing flooding in Pakistan, it is important to note that Pakistan contributes “less than 1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions,” The New Humanitarian reports. Because of this, Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s climate change minister, has suggested that Pakistan has plans to demand climate reparations from the countries that play a much larger part in global climate change, according to The New Humanitarian. Efficient and productive strides have been taken in the direction of recovery for Pakistan in the wake of these cataclysmic floods. 

– Christopher Dickinson
Photo: Flickr

USAID's Economic Support in ChadIn Chad, extreme flooding has caused a massive amount of damage, affecting over 1 million people across the nation. On December 14, 2022, USAID announced that it will be providing an additional $2.5 million in financial support, building on the initial amount of $100,000.

Flooding in Chad

Many countries in Africa are challenged by dry weather conditions and therefore struggle to find resources of water. However, in Chad, heavy rainfall is common in several regions due to the equatorial location of the country. In 2022, it recorded the, “heaviest rainfall in the past 30 years, resulting in rivers overflowing, rupturing the dikes.” This led to extreme flooding in the latter half of the year, affecting 200,000 households by October 31. Rivers running through the country’s most populated regions have a tendency to overflow in times of extreme rainfall, drastically affecting nearby towns.

Damages and Lasting Consequences

On October 19, 2022, Chad’s President Mahamat Idriss Deby declared a state of emergency in reaction to this extreme flooding. At this point, floods destroyed 465,030 hectares of farmland. The destruction of fertile land is a drastic consequence, especially due to the fact that Chad had already been suffering from severe food insecurity. In addition to this, “16,756 households had to flee their homes.” In total, more than 1 million people have been affected in 18 out of Chad’s 23 provinces, according to UNICEF Situation Report.

Inadequate Funding

As a result of the flooding, Chad is in desperate need of humanitarian assistance to support citizens in their time of distress. This funding is necessary for food, housing, and health support on the ground. Because of this, Chad’s government called for additional economic assistance from outside actors.

USAID Economic Support in Chad

At the beginning of the flood, USAID provided $100,000 in support of the country’s relief efforts. However, as the damages continued, it became clear that economic support in Chad was needed to a larger extent. On December 14, 2022, USAID announced that it would provide an additional $2.5 million. In conjunction with UNICEF, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. World Food Program (WFP), this assistance will be able to act as a multifaceted humanitarian effort. The press release states that “This assistance will support broader response efforts providing flood-affected families with cash-based transfers, mental health and psychosocial support services, relief items, shelter supplies, and water, sanitation and hygiene assistance.”

During 2022 alone, USAID’s economic support in Chad reached $73.6 million. This type of funding, coupled with the emergency funding in reaction to the flood, has been able to better the quality of life for those in a struggling country and support them in a time of need.

Overall, economic humanitarian assistance is important to aid countries in states of distress. USAID’s economic support in Chad is an excellent example of the importance of monetary support and has helped the country react to dangerous conditions produced by flooding. This support will lessen the drastic consequences of the flood and allow the country to aid its inhabitants as well as rebuild in the future.

– Hailey Dooley
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Torrential Floods in AfricaAfrica is the second-largest continent with a population of 1.4 million as of 2022, making it the second most populated continent. Africa has an extreme poverty line of 46% in rural areas and 9% in urban areas, with an equal split of poverty between males and females from 30 to 31%, leaving 431 million people living in poverty. In 2022, torrential floods hit many regions in Africa and in the KwaZulu-Natal area, 398 people were reported dead with 27 still missing. The heavy rain destroyed many homes, leaving thousands of people homeless, sinking cargo containers and ruined soil, leaving many farmers without work and families without food during winter.

Factors of Torrential Floods

The National Weather Service (NWS) does not formally recognize torrential rain as a weather term. Instead, ThoughtCo described it as “rain that is especially heavy.” Heavy downpours are classified as rainfall with a rate of 0.3 inches or more per hour that occurs when the moisture in the air mass is larger than its own size. For example, when your sink is plugged, the water will eventually overflow if not turned off, but if it’s unplugged, the water can never outweigh the sink and is held. One can usually catch torrential rain on weather radars and weather services will give different levels of warning if the rain is dangerous enough not to resume daily life as it can cause runoffs, flooding and mudslides.

The Impact of Torrential Floods in Africa

Recent torrential floods have impacted Africa’s farms, including huts, crops and livestock, especially in West and Central Africa. In more than 12 countries, 4 million people have lost a substantial number of crops due to torrential floods in 2022, where many farmers not only supply stock for other people but also rely on their farms for their own use. Six million hectares of farmland are underwater, where the soil has lost its properties to continue growing healthy crops.

With the current season’s harvest ruined by torrential floods, many farmers worry about the future of their farms. Many farmers travel long periods of time to reach their farms, trying to save what they can to survive this season and the rest of the year. While some have managed to save enough for a month, families will become famished over the winter and it is unlikely that the soil will be able to produce healthy crops until after the new year in 2023. The chairman of the Associations of Sorghum Producers, Processors and Marketing for the northeastern Borno state, Goni Alhaji Adam, stated that the floods are “the worst he had seen in two decades,” Al Jazeera reports.

Besides the impact of torrential floods in Africa, other things also had a hand to play in the destruction of farms. Due to conflict in the Sahel region, almost 8 million people faced displacement, many of whom were farmers that could not tend to their land due to the pandemic, according to Al Jazeera. 8% of displaced citizens were agropastoral farmers, meaning they take care of agriculture and livestock simultaneously. Also, with the drought and the Ukraine-Russian war, fertilizer supplies dropped significantly, meaning farmers could not produce as many crops.

Looking Ahead

In order to achieve better nutrition and reach their goals by 2030, Africa is asking for collaboration from multiple countries around the world to help in any way they can. Those who cannot afford farm or crop management need support with food security, nutrition and health, cleaner water and education to prepare for the winter and next year. To achieve SDG 2, the agrifood system also needs support. For example, stakeholders need to “transition to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems” to ensure stronger and healthier production and nutrition to provide a safer environment and a better quality of life.

Africa was making an improvement in food security, however, from 2019 to 2020, Africa was not on track and had seen a dangerous increase in malnourishment that reached 89.1 million people. Where the torrential floods have impacted Africa, 26.7% of food insecure people are from the West and 20.3% are from Central Africa, some of the higher rates compared to the rest of Africa, according to FAO report.

Before the impact of torrential floods, the pandemic, draught and the Ukraine-Russian war, Africa already faced a food security issue. In Nigeria, in two regions, floods have destroyed 30% of maize crops. The president of Nigeria’s Maize Growers and Processors Association, Edwin Chigozie Uche, have started the process of analyzing soil and its nutrients where the floods have subsided to determine when farmers can continue farming, Al Jazeera reports. Though, a significant number of farmers are small-scale and cannot afford soil fertility tests and other farm management methods. Due to this, it is unlikely they will be able to farm the following year without help.

Another bid to lessen the impact of torrential floods in Africa that the army, police and volunteer rescuers use to distribute clean water and soon deploy water tankers. The government has provided 1 billion rands ($58 million) in emergency relief funding. More than 4,000 police officers are supporting relief efforts and keeping citizens safe and orderly due to reports of theft, The Guardian reports. The South African weather service has announced future storms and flooding that could enable citizens to prepare.

– Deanna Barratt
Photo: Flickr

Assisting Flood Victims in Nigeria
Nigeria is a country in West Africa with a population of more than 210 million people. It is the most populous country in Africa and boasts one of the largest economies in Africa. Since September 2022, Nigeria has faced devastating floods that damaged Nigeria’s infrastructure and led to dire humanitarian consequences. These floods stand as the most destructive floods that Nigeria has experienced in more than 10 years. The floods have led to more than 600 deaths, more than 1 million displacements and thousands of injuries. Below are five charities assisting flood victims in Nigeria.

5 Charities Assisting Flood Victims in Nigeria

  1. International Rescue Committee (IRC). The IRC is a global relief agency that has been providing aid to Nigeria since the country’s previous extreme flooding event in 2012. The organization is committed to helping people in poor and vulnerable countries amid conflict and disasters. The IRC specifically supports Nigerians by providing them with food, water, shelter and health services. Nigeria has experienced large cholera outbreaks and an increase in preventable diseases as a result of the floods. In October 2022, the IRC helped Nigerians by providing hygiene and sanitation resources and health programming to stop the spread of these diseases. The IRC has also established three offices in Northeastern Nigeria to expand its crisis response efforts within the country. With more funding, the IRC can reach even more disaster victims in Nigeria.
  2. UNICEF Nigeria. This charity supports children in Nigeria who experience issues that stem from poverty including disease, violence and environmental disasters. Flooding in Nigeria has caused communities, such as those within Bayelsa State, to lose their homes, schools and other essential infrastructure. UNICEF has supported the Nigerian government’s response in three flood-affected states. UNICEF’s response includes “cash assistance, distribution of cholera kits, government-led mobile health teams, temporary learning centers [and] learning kits” the UNICEF website reports. With more support, this organization can scale its efforts and provide critical supplies, including medication, to those who need it the most.
  3. Save the Children Nigeria. For more than 20 years, the organization has supported vulnerable Nigerian children and their families. A November 2022 press release highlights Save the Children’s assistance to flood victims across several countries. In Nigeria specifically, Save the Children is providing flood victims with “life-saving food, safe drinking water, cash assistance, mattresses, blankets, mosquito nets, child protection services and emergency shelter kits,” according to the press release. The organization is assisting 36,000 children and 18,000 families in six of those most affected states.
  4. Nigerian Red Cross Society. This organization came about in 1960 through a parliamentary act. The organization helps vulnerable Nigerians facing “disaster, epidemics, armed conflicts” and other issues that bring humanitarian consequences. The Nigerian Red Cross announced an emergency appeal for funding in early November 2022 to raise more money for victims of Nigeria’s recent floods. This aid would support victims across Nigeria on a large scale. The charity has already mobilized more than 10,000 volunteers and hundreds of staff members to assist with “evacuation, camp management and relief activities.”
  5. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). This United Nations body is dedicated to coordinating and strengthening international humanitarian responses to disasters. The OCHA facilitates effective responses to global emergencies, such as the floods in Nigeria, by mobilizing support and funding for affected nations. OCHA’s humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria has called for more support from the international community regarding flood relief efforts in Nigeria as well as a more coordinated effort to mitigate climate-related disasters.

Looking Ahead

These five charities assisting flood victims in Nigeria work to provide essential resources and aid to people who need help. Through their work into the future, flooding victims in Nigeria should be able to continue receiving support.

– Dylan Priday
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Aid to Pakistan
In the aftermath of Pakistan’s devastating 2022 floods, many different groups have stepped up to provide humanitarian aid, including nations, NGOs and the Pakistani diaspora community.

The 2022 Pakistan Floods

Beginning in June 2022, a severe monsoon season in Pakistan led to historic flooding and landslides that swept through the nation, destroying towns and rendering millions of Pakistanis homeless. In total, the flooding has impacted at least 33 million people and left one-third of the nation underwater. In Karachi, authorities have reported outbreaks of cholera and dengue fever, with thousands of patients traveling to hospitals and public health centers for treatment.

Pakistani children in particular face vulnerability to waterborne diseases, and their education has experienced disruption as the floods have ravaged thousands of Pakistani schools. As of October 2022, 10 million children are now in need 0f life-saving support.

According to Pakistani authorities, the flood waters may not fully subside for months. More than 1,500 people have died since the floods began, and damages are estimated at more than $30 billion. Food scarcity is now a serious issue, as the flooding has devastated the nation’s agricultural sector. Amidst this catastrophic event for Pakistan, organizations are stepping up to provide lifesaving support to those affected, and to help the nation rebuild.

Nations and Humanitarian Organizations Supporting Pakistan

The U.S. government has allocated significant ongoing humanitarian aid to Pakistan. Since the crisis began, the U.S. military has flown more than 400 metric tons of supplies, which should assist at least 300,000 victims. Additionally, in August 2022, the U.S. government provided more than $30 million in relief assistance to Pakistan through USAID.

Additionally, the United Kingdom provided $1.8 million of aid in August. In a public statement, the late Queen Elizabeth II expressed that the “United Kingdom stands in solidarity with Pakistan” in its efforts to recover.

As of September, the U.N.’s Central Emergency Relief fund has pledged $10 million to Pakistan for public health measures such as preventing waterborne disease and improving access to clean water and food.

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Relief Fund (UNICEF) is sending emergency medical supplies to women and children in the regions that have suffered the most destruction, specifically to combat malnutrition and waterborne illnesses. UNICEF has also underscored its commitment to ensuring children in the nation can resume their education as soon as possible.

The United Arab Emirates has been a leader in providing aid to Pakistan amidst the flooding, sending numerous planeloads of supplies through an ‘air bridge’ between the two nations. Emirates, a UAE airline, declared it would provide free cargo space on its passenger aircraft to fly additional aid to Pakistan.

Grassroots Efforts to Provide Relief to Pakistan

While large humanitarian efforts by governments and other bureaucracies are important, one should not overlook grassroots relief efforts.

In Atlanta, Pakistani immigrant Imran Khan is raising money to provide food, medicine and other emergency supplies to those affected by the flooding. Khan began his efforts by reaching out to friends and family members, but his fundraising mission quickly spread to the local community. He started an online fundraising campaign to continue delivering relief packages, where he has raised more than $3,000.

Sami Khan, the owner of an ice cream shop in Connecticut, held a fundraiser called ‘Pints for Pakistan,’ sending the day’s proceeds to UNICEF relief efforts. Hearing accounts from family and friends about the devastation caused in his homeland inspired Khan, who is originally from Pakistan to act. Dozens of community members, including a state representative, came to support the fundraiser.

The Importance of Continued Support

Procuring humanitarian aid to Pakistan is an ongoing process, and the efforts described here, as well as many others, are actively saving lives in Pakistan. As this crisis will not be over in the immediate future, continued public support for international aid is crucial.

– Oliver De Jonghe
Photo: Flickr