Photo credit:

A magnitude 6.5 earthquake with an epicentre 40km southeast of the Afghan town of Jurm, near the borders with Pakistan and Tajikistan1 has left at least 13 people dead and hundreds injured in Pakistan and Afghanistan, with tremors felt as far as New Delhi, India.

In Afghanistan, at least four people were killed and 70 others injured in affected areas across the country, according to Sharafat Zaman Amar, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health. A reported 120 houses in total have been damaged in Laghman, Nangarhar and Kunar provinces based on initial assessments2.

In Pakistan, at least nine people died – including two children – as houses and other buildings collapsed in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA). At least 44 others were injured in the province and 28 houses were reported damaged.

The earthquake comes less than a year after Pakistan’s ravaging floods in 2022 and a deadly earthquake that hit Afghanistan’s east provinces in June 2022, killing more than 1,000 people in Khost and Paktika provinces of Afghanistan and wounding many more.

Community World Service Asia (CWSA) is in close coordination with the local government and other stakeholders active in the region. Our emergency response teams are closely monitoring the situation on the ground and will immediately start relief operations when and if required.


Shama Mall
Deputy Regional Director
Programs & Organisational Development
Tele: 92-21-34390541-4

Palwashay Arbab
Head of Communication
Tele: 92-21-34390541-4


  1. United States Geological Survey (USGS)
  2. IOM Afghanistan

The Floods of 2022 have left entire districts sunk and 1/3rd of Pakistan submerged in water. Now even after nine months of surviving unprecedented rainfall, water still stands over acres of land, leaving the country economically and developmentally paralysed.

Khairpur district is among the areas left almost completely devastated. The rain that by some accounts did not cease for two months have left villages here under more than a metre of water even today.

Community World Service Asia, with the support of CAFOD and Disasters Emergency Committee, UK, responded to the needs of some of the most vulnerable affected communities through immediate cash assistance and emergency health support.

One of the worst affected district was Khairpur. Houses were swept away, livestock was lost and many farming lands have lost their crops. The situation is still evolving, with flood waters stagnant in many areas, causing water-borne and vector-borne diseases to spread, and more than 8 million displaced people now facing a health and livelihoods crisis.

Pakistan’s 2022 monsoon season produced significant rainfall, devastating floods and landslides, affecting millions of people. At the beginning of 2023 and several months after one of the worst flooding experienced in the country, an estimated 4.5 million people remain exposed to or are living close to flooded areas. Displaced people have started to return to their places of origin, but they are returning to challenging situations and almost zero infrastructure.

During these floods, Hafiza Bibi, a single mother of four children, not only saw her home crumbling down in front of her eyes but also experienced the grief of two dear family members passing away. “My husband was suffering from cancer. We could barely afford his medicines. He passed away in August during the middle of all the heavy rains. While I was struggling to get over the loss of my husband, my daughter also suffered from a nervous breakdown in October due to the trauma and stress of the floods. It took us a whole day just to reach to the nearest hospital when she fell to the ground. She stayed in the hospital for ten days but did not survive. She was only 21years old.”

Hafiza’s husband worked as a farmer and a labourer. Hafiza stayed at home, taking care of her four children, dedicated to household and care-taking chores. She watched water daily and ensured the family consumed their meals. “Our relatives would sometimes help us by giving wheat or money as charity. However, after the floods everyone suffered badly and no one we know was in a position to help.”

Many homes were washed away in Muhammad Fazal Khokar village where Hafiza lived. And her house was one of the many totally destroyed. She now lives with her brother-in-law in the same village but she knows that this living situation cannot not be continued for a long time. “I live in a makeshift tent just outside the house. It scares me that one day my brother-in-law will ask me to leave his place. This thought terrifies me as I have no money to build a place of my own”. Hafiza and her children have struggled to survive and slept for days on an empty stomach since everything she once owned had vanished within a blink of an eye.

“We went door to door assessing flood affected people who were in dire need during our visits to the most remote villages of Khairpur district. That is when we came across Hafiza Bibi. Members of the village committee were kind enough to inform us that a widow with four young children was in urgent need of money and assistance,” shared Hassan, Community Mobiliser in Community World Service Asia.

Community World Service Asia (CWSA) with the support of Canadian Foodgrains Bank(CFGB) and Presbyterian World Service & Development (PWS&D) is supporting flood affected families with Cash for Food (CFF) in some of the most remote and climatically vulnerable villages of Khairpur district in Sindh, Pakistan. Under the initiative, flood survivors are provided cash to meet their immediate food and other essential needs.

Hafiza Bibi received PKR 12,000 in three tranches under the project so far(a total of PKR 36,000). “I bought essential food items such as wheat flour, rice, sugar, tea, milk and vegetables. This assistance has provided me some relief and allowed me to put food on the table for my children. At least for now. The rising prices are a huge concern and we do not know how we are going to make ends meets with no source of livelihood. I wanted to save some amount in case of emergency but I could not. A small packet of rice costs in hundreds these days. We need opportunities to revive our livelihoods.”

Shaista, a widow and mother of two sons. Shaista suffers from paralysis but stands strong in the face of all and any calamity and earns for her children despite all odds.

As many other disasters and crises, the Pakistan floods have had a disproportionate impact on women and young girls. Deep-rooted gender inequality, exacerbated by poverty and illiteracy has widened the gap in impact between men and women affected by this climate change-led disaster.

Heightened tensions, fear and uncertainty coupled with loss of income are driving increased violence against women and girls. Cases of harassment and sexual violence have also been reported, fueled by disputes over food and other essential items. As food insecurity rises, young girls in particular are at higher risk of violence, including sexual exploitation and forced marriage in exchange for money to buy food for the rest of the family[1].

Even before the floods, many of these women from affected communities were often recognised as “Lone Survivors”, being the sole breadwinners for their families or households headed by single mothers or grandmothers.

Shaista lost her husband to cancer last year. He was the only male member in their family, leaving Shaista to care for their children as well as his mother and sister. During the floods, Shaista and her family found their way to a relief camp to seek help as their house had been completely damaged and they were left without a home. Despite her illness and now without a home, Shaista still runs a small stall (tuck shop) which is right outside the one room house given to her family by the other villagers, where she sells goods for an income. Now 8 members reside in a one bedroom house and she sometimes sleeps in the tuck shop with her children because the space in her house is cram-full.

Hawa Khatun – Lost her eyesight, but not her will to survive.

Hawa lost her husband and son in a span of the last three years. She was left widowed and without any heir to support her.  With time, as she grew older,  she also lost her eyesight. As the horrifying rains hit their village (Golo Uner), Hawa, without any immediate family, sat on her Charpai (bed) and waited for help because she could not move. The villagers who loved her like their own, being one of the elders members in her village, came to help and took good care of her. Once families returned back to their village, the conditions were worse since almost everyone had lost their livelihoods, their homes and their livestock.  Hawa, even in her condition, tried to help fellow villagers by offering to sell her only left household items.

Shehnaz, the brave mother of 3 young children.

Shehnaz is a mother to three young children.  Her husband worked as a daily-wage labourer. They are from Nawab Machi Village but her husband used to go to Old Hala and worked in a small shop where they used to sell wheat, but the local market and economy has been badly hit by the floods as well and he is left at home without any source of livelihood. Shehnaz and her husband’s house was washed away in the floods and they now live in a make-shift shelter made of bricks in their little piece of land outside what was once their home. The agrarian lands and open-grounds surrounding their house are still in ruins and under water. The floods have in fact formed a little pond around their new house now. Everyday, one or the other of Shehnaz’s children fall in the little pond and injure themselves or catch an infection or disease from the dirty water surrounding them. It is Shehnaz who has to run to the clinic situated an hour and a half away from their village ever so often to ensure the safety and health of her children. Besides her usual motherly duties, Shehnaz is also selling small household items which she brings from the city every now and then to ensure some income is earned for the family to survive this difficult time.

Banu, the talented Ralli-crafter

Banu’s husband abandoned her, as a new bride, just two months after their wedding. It is eight years since that fateful day but loyal as she is, Banu still waits for him. While she waits for her husband, she does not sit idle – she earns as the only income-bearer for her own family. Without a father to care for her other sisters and mother, Banu cares and provides for her family. As a talented craftswomen, Banu is an expert in applique and patchwork. She sews different coloured cloth patches and makes an exquisite ethnic blanket out of it, called a Ralli in Sindhi. Painstakingly exhausting and intricate, Banu makes two rallis a month on an average and sells each for up to PKR 3000.  This costs Banu her health as her fingers end up swollen and she endures weeks of backaches as her slip disc has been displaced with hours of working in one position. The amount she receives is in no way a fair compensation for her hard work but she has to settle for it as this is their only source of livelihood. As being a Ralli crafter Banu would easily get the goods to stitch a Ralli from Old Hala (she used to walk 2 kms to get on the road and would take a bus from there to reach the market in Old Hala) but due to the floods , the prices in the market have increased and the necessary items are hard to find which makes it difficult for her to buy these items. Banu also lost her threads and patches which she had collected over the period of time, as the flood ruined their quality and the threads were lost.

Pahno – An empath leader

 A mother of four children, the youngest only one year old, Pahno fractured her foot when their house wall collapsed in Nawab Machi Village, on her leg during the heavy rain showers in August. Pahno’s husband is not home most of the time as he works in Hala and is hardly available for her wife and kids. Their family is struggling to survive since the floods hit their home and village but Pahno has not lost hope. Even in the most difficult of times, she not only takes good care of her children but also worries for her entire community, especially the women. Realising that the health of the women in their community has suffered the most since the floods, she encourages all of them to visit the mobile health clinic established by CWSA and partners. She takes it upon herself to ensure each one of the women she knows go to the OPD for health care.  Despite her limping leg, she leads them to the clinic every time. That is true leadership.

Women in Pakistan are silently suffering since the floods hit their homes and their communities. Their houses have washed away, their family and neighbours have died in front of their eyes and they have witnessed unbearable loss but they stand strong. In many ways they were alone before and they are alone now but that does not make them lose their will to survive.

[1]  UN Women stories – Nov 22


The current monsoon spell that started in the second week of July 2022 has caused widespread flooding and has led to extensive human and infrastructure damage across many parts of Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan estimates that around 33 million people across the country are affected by the rains, floods and consequent impacts such as landslides. More than 421,000 refugees living in calamity-declared districts are also affected or at risk. As of August 2022, some 6.4 million people are estimated to need of assistance.[1]

According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)’ Monsoon Situation Report on August 30, 2022, around 1,057,388 houses were damaged (including 324,386 fully and 733,002 partially damaged). In addition to this, around 5063 KM roads have been washed away, 243 bridges have collapsed, and 730,483 animals have died.

Southern and central Pakistan have been most affected, particularly Balochistan and Sindh provinces. Balochistan has received 5.1 times its 30-year average rainfall as of 27 August, while Sindh’s is 5.7 times its 30-year average. b

Death and injury is extensive and likely higher because of unreported number in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and Sindh provinces. In the same vein, livestock and agriculture was impacted threatening food security. In addition, the floods are expected to strain existing healthcare services as gastrointestinal illnesses, malaria, skin infections, snake bites and injuries are anticipated to increase significantly.

Current situation and implications for Pakistan, Sindh province

Sindh province is affected most adversely by heavy rainfall and resultant flooding in Pakistan. Over 110 districts have declared a state of emergency in Sindh province. According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority of Sindh, over 240,000 people remain displaced in the province as of 3 December 2022. Nearly 90% of flood-displaced people are reportedly with host communities, while the remaining are in tent cities and relief camps. While receding flood waters have allowed millions of people to go home, there are reports of significant service gaps in areas of return, in addition to extensive impacts to homes, agriculture, and livelihoods. In general, access to clean food, water, clothing, shelter and the ability to find safe areas to rest and sleep has and continues to be a challenge.

Public health concerns are high due to damaged infrastructure, stagnating water and inadequate sanitation facilities. In Sindh, between July and early October, nearly 350,000 people were suspected of having malaria, more than 700,000 had some form of diarrhea, and over 770,000 people reported skin-related diseases. The practice of open defecation has increased from one-fifth before the floods to over one-third of the affected population, with 6 million no longer having home sanitation facilities.[2]

Women and girls are vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse because safeguarding measures are not designed into the programmes by the organisations. Protective mechanisms such as safe spaces and support services have either been destroyed or no longer exist. Moreover, women play a large role in the household, as such, access to clean water for cooking, cleaning and toileting no longer exist. Similarly, the services such as information provision, participation, and feedback are unavailable to them and other vulnerable groups resulting in being excluded from the participatory approach at all levels.

Overview of Damage in Sindh (according to Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Sindh from June to Dec 2022)[3]:

  • 8,422 people injured
  • 801 deaths
  • 436,435 Livestock Perished
  • 642,672 houses partially Damaged, 1,415,677 houses fully damaged
  • 3,777,272 acres of land damaged
  • 12,356,860 people affected
  • 194,562 people displaced
  • 59 health facilities fully damaged and 461 partially damaged[4]

Geographical focus of CWSA: Sindh, Pakistan

Recommended programming for recovery and rehabilitation in the following areas:

  1. Food/cash assistance – to reduce food consumption gaps and supporting populations as they restore livelihood and/or livestock.
  2. Reconstruction/rehabilitation of livestock and agriculture – replacement of lost livestock, rehabilitating surviving livestock, restoration of agricultural produce, reconstruction of animal shelters, re-establishing irrigation infrastructure and equipment as part of restoring livelihoods amongst impacted populations.
  3. Cash assistance/cash for food/cash for work – These efforts are targeted towards disaster risk reduction (DRR) in that strategies are implemented to prevent new disaster risks, reducing existing disaster and managing residual risks in order to strengthen resilience and reduction of disaster related losses.
  4. Shelter – with the view of mitigating gender-based violence, exploitation of children etc. as a consequence of displacement. Moreover, the provision and utilization of shelter packs that are procured using local materials to flood-proof homes as part of overall DRR strategies.
  5. Healthcare services – provision of essential medicines, menstrual hygiene products, and malarial treatment in an effort to support existing medical services. In addition, leveraging existing public health clinics and local government facilities that are in need of rehabilitation and improvement. Integrated Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH), clean delivery kits/newborn baby kits, capacity building of local health workers (LHWs, Marvi workers).
  6. Quality & accountability (Q&A) – To mainstream Q&A across humanitarian organizations and Accountability Learning Working Group (ALWG) organizations, systems, tools, procedures and standards and to undertake capacity building in Q&A and Safeguarding of staff. Also, to develop resources in local languages for dissemination on a wider scale.
  7. Education – De-watering, cleaning, and disinfection of schools to facilitate the resumption of educational activities in a safe and healthy learning environment, distribution of educational teaching and learning materials, training teachers on psychosocial support, multi-grade teaching and teaching in emergencies, training and mobilization of School Management Committee (SMC) members on psychosocial support, safe school reopening, and functioning of schools. Programs to build teacher’s capacity on the learning environment, teachers’ trainings on positive learning environment (PLE), teachers training on early childhood care and education (ECCE) and play based learning activities.





In 2021, the drought killed their three-acre crop and with it their hopes for food on their plates. But Kasturi and her husband Khamiso, who is diagnosed with acute asthma, considered the family fortunate to be project participants of  Community World Service Asia (CWSA), PWS&D & CBGB’s[1] food aid programme starting in April and spread over six months. In  September with her fractured arm still not fully healed she had not returned to her work as a midwife.  Though at the rate of PKR 500 (Approx. USD 2.23) at most for a delivery and two to three cases per month, she was making very little, but even that was not to be sniffed at and she was keen to return to her work. Her orthopedic surgeon, however, told her she would not be able to resume work before February 2023. 

With their son grazing a livestock owner’s twelve cows for PKR 400 per cow per month, the family at least had a steady income of PKR 4800. Living with the hope that the summer monsoon will not fail, the couple worked their three-acre spread and sowed it with guar, mung and millets in June 2022. After a long time,  heaven was benevolent and they saw the seed sprout and grow as it had not been seen in years. 

But when the rain did not stop for four straight days, their chaunras (Hut) began to collapse. So great was the rain and so excessive its weight on the thatch that half a dozen rafters simply cracked under the strain. As the downfall began, the August installment of ration aid came in the way and the family lost the entire supply of wheat flour. Kasturi, forever looking at the brighter side, said all was not lost for she fed the flour to her goats. As for the rice and lentils, that can easily be cleaned and used. 

The last food aid was due a few weeks after this interaction and Kasturi was of the view that it would see  them through to the time that the first of their millet will be in the grain silo. When their entire lot is harvested and their larder and silos filled, they will dispose of the rest against cash. As all desert dwellers know that the rafters are the major rebuilding expense and some of that income will go to providing the PKR  30,000 (Approx. USD 13.35) to make their homes habitable again. That is a good deal better than the drought.  If the rains destroyed their shelters, at least they were enough to give them a harvest as they had not seen in many years.

[1] Presbyterian World Service & Development & Canadian Foodgrains Bank

Shehdev of village Veri Sal Sarety lying 6 kilometres southwest of Umerkot, the second youngest of seven brothers is a bachelor while all the others are wedded. One of them passed away some years ago leaving behind three little children. Then the widowed mother walked out of the home leaving her children in the care of their uncle. Shehdev thus cares for four souls that includes these three children and his mother. Herself illiterate, the mother is a remarkable women for she and her husband had worked hard to educate all her seven sons. No surprise then, that Shehdev is a matriculate.

Shehdev works as a bricklayer wherever he can get work. And this is mostly in Umerkot, 6 kilometres away. With the fare being PKR 60 (Approx. USD 0.27) out and back, his daily wage varying between PKR 800 and PKR 1000 (Approx. USD 3 and 4.45), is enough to put reasonable food on the table for the five-member family. To supplement this income, Shehdev’s mother goes to the flooded cotton fields to pick the ripe crop. She knew the flood has caused venomous snakes to take refuge among the vegetation, but the work cannot be given up, especially at a time when other work is hard to find.

In July, the deluge came and construction work came to a halt. Some little savings from his work helped Shehdev and his family make it through the first couple of weeks before things began to get difficult. Had there not been some work helping local landowners drain their flooded fields and for his mother to endanger her life in the cotton fields, Shehdev would have gone under debt.

In early September 2022, food was the least of Shehdev’s worries because his mother continued her work and brought some cash. He was more concerned with the rebuilding of his collapsed home. Sahehdev, now living under a makeshift tent on higher grounds nearby to escape the flood waters, admitted the cost would be negligible because the clay for the bricks was locally available and the rafters for the collapsed roof were undamaged. Being a bricklayer himself, he was better acquainted than most with the work and as soon as he got some cash, he would begin reconstruction. If only his two yearling bulls had not died during the rains, he could have easily disposed of them for a neat PKR 70,000 (Approx. USD 312) and raised his home in quick time. But without that ready cash gone, he has to rely for cash from his mother’s farm work and himself if he is called to help drain a field. Shehdex, who is now supported through one of Community World Service Asia’s development projects, will only be able to return to work as a bricklayer when construction begins again after the last crowds have dissipated.

The death toll from the Pakistan floods is now recorded at 1,700, with over 33 million people affected. Quoted as the ‘tenth costliest’ disaster in a decade with some areas still under flood water which could possibly take a few more months to recede. Areas where flood waters have receded, the needs of children and women are becoming more and more urgent and critical. Malnourished, hungry children are struggling to fight against malnutrition, diarrhea, malaria, dengue fever, typhoid, acute respiratory infections, and painful skin conditions.

Millions of agrarian communities have lost their homes and livelihoods and have no access to food, shelter, or clean drinking water.

Community World Service Asia, with the support of its partners, is on the ground in Pakistan, providing immediate support to some of the most hard-hit and remote flood-affected communities.

Our response is currently focused in four districts of Sindh, the province most severely hit by the disaster. We have deployed seven Mobile Health Units (MHUs) that are operational across Mirpurkhas, Matiari, Umerkot and Khairpur.

The Mobile health Units are providing curative and preventive health care through experienced and trained health and medical practitioners to flood-affected communities living in temporary shelters and camps as well as communities that are currently hard to reach due to stagnant flood-water.  The most common illnesses reported at the MHUs since its operations are skin diseases, diarrhea, malaria, eye infections, and more. We are also conducting health awareness sessions on common diseases found in the area such as scabies, malaria, diarrhea, Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI), hepatitis C as well as on family planning, malnutrition, maternal and neonatal care.

CWSA’s Emergencies teams are closely working with government health departments to identify areas and communities who are still left unreached. Further needs assessments and participants selection is underway with the engagement of affected communities for our cash support projects which will also start implementation shortly.

28,007 Flood affected people reached through MHUs