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As Pakistan deals with rains, floods and landslides impacting more than 33 million people in different parts of the country, Nutrition International stands in solidarity with the Pakistani people. 

According to the World Health Organization’s September 3 Floods Situation Report, over 1,290 people have lost their lives, more than 12,500 people have been injured, over 432 health facilities have been fully and 1,028 partially destroyed – limiting access to healthcare workers, essential medicines and medical supplies – and almost 634,000 people were displaced and are living in camps.

“Nutrition International has been working in Pakistan for over 20 years, and we are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the population,” said Dr. Shabina Raza, Nutrition International Pakistan Country Director. “Our thoughts are with all those who have been impacted by the floods, and we stand ready to work with national and provincial, and local authorities to help deal with the consequences brought on by this disaster in the weeks, months and years to come.” 

Under the leadership of Dr. Raza, the Nutrition International Pakistan team has stepped up to contribute to emergency efforts, including helping to mitigate the health and nutrition impacts of the disaster on the population, especially women and children. 

Amid growing concern that waterborne diseases may kill more people than the floods themselves in the aftermath of the disaster, Nutrition International donated 75,000 doses of zinc and low-osmolarity rehydration salts to be distributed to children suffering from diarrhoea in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Baluchistan provinces, helping them to recover faster and potentially even saving lives.  

Nutrition International is also working together with other development partners to combine efforts for increased impact – including with UNICEF as co-chair of the Nutrition Development Partners Forum – as well as with provincial and national governments. As a result of advocacy by Nutrition International and others, the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination has issued a letter recommending national and provincial stakeholders to include fortified food products in the packages that will be distributed to people affected by the floods. In addition, the Ministry of Health has issued guidelines to humanitarian agencies to discourage bottle feeding and promote breastfeeding during relief and recovery activities. 

Nutrition International, working closely with stakeholders, will continue to contribute to emergency relief efforts in the coming months through program adaptation, redirecting of funds to attend to urgent nutrition needs as well as advocacy to ensure nutrition is prioritized – so this natural disaster doesn’t in turn cause a malnutrition crisis which could have devastating impact on the health and wellbeing of the population.