The rains started falling in some areas of Pakistan two months ago—and they haven’t stopped since. The devastation, though, is virtually everywhere in the country, which is among the most vulnerable to climate change.
So far, floods have killed 1,100 people in Pakistan (one third of whom were children), wiped out 200,000 homes, destroyed nearly 2,000 miles of roads, wiped out 2 million acres of crops, and affected more than 33 million people, half-a-million of which are in displacement camps.
Those numbers, all of them, will go up as the rains continue. Some parts of the country have already received four times more rain than the 30-year average. One city, Sindh, has seen 48 inches of rain in the past 2 months.
The flooding is expected to cause $10 billion in damage to Pakistan, whose economy was suffering before the first drop fell from the sky. The country, which set up its own relief fund, is desperately seeking aid to deal with the effects of the flooding that officials have dubbed “apocalyptic.” While the U.S., United Nations, and International Monetary Fund have all pledged millions, the suffering throughout Pakistan has prompted many individuals to look for ways to aid victims, including designing creative emergency shelters.
Unfortunately, catastrophic disasters bring out both the best and worst in people. While many are driven to assist the people impacted, others see an opportunity to take advantage of that generosity.
If you’re looking to help, here’s a list of charities where your donations will do the most good for the Pakistani people.
Unicef: The charity has already delivered emergency services and supplies worth $1 million to the people of Pakistan. It’s looking to do more, though, to help with public health and nutrition, provide access to clean drinking water, and help with the mental health and education of children. Donate here.
International Rescue Committee: A rapid-needs assessment by the IRC found that 87% of women and girls don’t have safe latrine facilities and nearly as many don’t have necessary hygiene supplies. Access to clean drinking water is also a substantial concern. You can donate here.
CARE International: With a focus on the most remote and logistically challenging areas of Pakistan, Care and its partners have distributed everything from tents and emergency latrine kits to feminine hygiene items. “Our highest priority is supporting women, children, and people with special needs,” said Adil Sheraz, who oversees the organization’s efforts in the country. You can contribute here.
Red Crescent Society: This Pakistani charity is typically one of the first to show up and last to leave when disasters occur within the country. But some of its emergency supplies for this sort of disaster were lost when flood waters topped 15 feet at one of its warehouses. That has slowed the response, but the humanitarian group has still been able to deliver food, water, and shelter to over 1 million people in need. Donate here.
CHHIPA Welfare Association: With a focus on the most vulnerable, this Pakistani welfare organization has been distributing blankets, mosquito nets, medicine, and other relief items in addition to food, water, and shelter. You can donate here.
GoFundMe: While there are a number of GoFundMe campaigns set up to help the people of Pakistan, the best place to sort out the legitimate ones is via the site’s centralized hub of verified fundraisers. GoFundMe’s global Trust & Safety team reviews each of these fundraisers to ensure the money gets to the right place quickly and safely. The page will continue to be updated as more verified fundraisers become available. You can find it here.
Update, September 1, 2022: This article has been updated with information about GoFundMe’s Pakistan hub.