Floods in Pakistan: access to education and water restored in Swat Valley thanks to the SDC

Bern, 24.11.2022 - In Pakistan, the activities of the FDFA's Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) are coming to an end after a three-month operation to help the flood-affected population. Deployed in the Swat Valley in the north-west of the country, specialists from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit have repaired 11 schools, eight suspension bridges and 16 water distribution systems. In total, the SDC has provided CHF 3 million to meet the needs generated by these catastrophic floods.

Pakistan is gradually recovering from one of the worst natural disasters in its history. At the end of August, the Pakistani authorities had launched an appeal for international aid following the exceptional monsoon that had flooded many parts of the country. The SDC reacted immediately by deploying specialists from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA). They went to the Swat Valley, where the needs were great and there was no other international presence.

Eleven schools, eight suspension bridges and 16 water distribution systems

In less than three months, the SHA teams repaired 11 schools and eight suspension bridges, restoring the valley's residents' access to local markets and enabling the children to return to school. They rehabilitated 16 water distribution systems. They also set up cash-for-work programmes to mobilise local labour to clear roads of debris, mud and other obstacles. Local communities were involved in the design and implementation of all these activities, which benefited over 30,000 people.

The Swat Valley is an area familiar to the SDC. It had already carried out several projects there. Indeed, Pakistan was one of the SDC's priority countries up until 2020, when the SDC brought its 50-year involvement to an end. The schools it rebuilt after the devastating floods of 2010 all successfully withstood the recent floods.

Three million francs to meet needs

The SDC provided a total of CHF 3 million in its overall response to this summer's floods. CHF 2 million was allocated to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) working in the southern provinces of the country, which were particularly affected by the disaster, as part of the international appeal. In addition, the SDC contributed CHF 200,000 to Swiss NGO Helvetas, which is carrying out projects to distribute drinking water, food and medicines, as well as essential supplies in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the north-west of the country. The remainder of the budget was used to finance activities carried out directly by the SDC.

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