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60 percent of the population in Pakistan must get by with less than two US-dollars a day. Especially in rural areas hte majority of people live below the poverty line. Many of them are illiterate and work as unskilled casual workers without a regular income. Children often aren't sent to school because they have to contribute to the family income. Bonded labour is wide spread: Poor families are dependent on a rich landowner who forbids "their property" to go to school, instead the children have to work on the fields. Without education a growing number of youth have no prospects.

Especially in rural areas women have restricted mobility and can only leave the house with permission of their male kin. They often don't have access to education and forced marriages are a daily occurrence.

Humanitarian aid after the flood catastrophe in Pakistan

In this already difficult situation, the intense monsoon rains which hit Pakistan in August 2010 had dramatic consequences: Intense rainfall that lasted several weeks led to floods that put four provinces under water. In the North, spring tide like waves destroyed large parts of the infrastructure, houses and cultivated areas. In the South villages and fields were under water for months, and therefore a return of the affected people into their homes and the cultivation of the harvest were impossible until the beginning of August 2011 (see here for Debora Neumanns impressions on site).

This flood destroyed more than 1.8m houses and 74% of the cultivated areas as well as livestock worth 5.1 billion USD. So far more than 20m people have been affected by the flood in 2010.


Emergency shelters for families

In August 2010, Solidar Switzerland distributed relief goods in the North of Pakistan, consisting mainly of tools and materials to clear the houses and materials to build emergency shelters. More than 2000 of the most affected families were given an opportunity to clear the mud out of their houses, save what was left of material, furniture and valuables and build an emergency shelter for themselves. Following the distribution, Solidar Switzerland constructed 800 temporary shelters for the most affected people including families with kids, sick and old people.


Longterm assistance

Since March 2011, Solidar Switzerland and its local partner organisation ‘Labour Education Foundation’ (LEF) assist the affected people with reconstruction and training projects, which aim to get local artisans trained as to how to build flood resistant buildings. With the building of 700 houses for widows, sick and handicapped people they can implement the methods. Sanitation facilities are re-built and they are shown the proper use of it.


The longterm assistence enables the population to rebuild their existence and develop mehods to be better prepared for a next flood. In this way Solidar Suisse wants to contribute to sustainable poverty reduction.

Generous support

Solidar Switzerland is grateful for the generous support that allows us to support the flood affected population in Pakistan with the re-construction of their livelihood and to develop methods that protects them better in case of a new flood.

Solidar Switzerland works in Pakistan with partners of the Solidar-Network.

Helmut Rählmann is responsible for the Solidar-programme in Pakistan.



More information available in German and French:

  • Reconstruction of livelihood G / F
  • Shelters for flood-affected people G / F