Briefing notes

Pakistan: Sindh Heatwave April - May 2017
Created: 24/04/2017 +

Overview

Many rural areas of Sindh are currently experiencing daily highs above 40°C, which are forecast to continue until early May. Average annual temperatures are in the mid-thirties at this time and increase to reach their peak in May and June, when urban areas including Karachi will be severely affected by the heatwave. Heatwaves in the past have caused considerable health impacts including dehydration, sunburn, and heatstroke. Impacts on WASH lead to additional health risks such as waterborne diseases. Increased power needs might lead to blackouts, affecting hospitals, transport, and communication. 

Afghanistan: Undocumented returnees from Pakistan and Iran
Created: 07/04/2017 +

Overview

Although the flow of returnees to Afghanistan has slowed since its peak in mid-2016, more than 60,000 people have returned from Iran (54,000) and Pakistan (almost 10,000) this year. They are in need of livelihoods and shelter as well as protection assistance.

Returnees from Pakistan go through Torkham border in Nangarhar province and Spin Boldak border in Kandarhar. Undocumented returnees make up around 40% of a total of 620,000 Afghans who returned from Pakistan in 2016. Returnees from Iran go through Islam Qala border in Herat province and Milak border in Nimroz province. More than 248,000 people returned from Pakistan in 2016, and more than 443,000 from Iran.

The increase is a result of worsening relations between the Afghanistan and Pakistan governments, prompting increasing pressure to return. The increase in returns from Iran is primarily due to the perceived pressure by the Iranian government that Afghan undocumented migrants put on the Iranian economy.  
 

Pakistan, Heatwave
Created: 03/05/2016 +

Overview

A severe heatwave is expected to strike Pakistan, in particular the southern province of Sindh and its capital Karachi, from the beginning of May up to the first week of June, coinciding with the first week of Ramadan. Karachi has already been affected by a moderate heatwave during the last 10 days of April, which caused two deaths. 

Last year, a heatwave affected Sindh throughout June and during Ramadan, the month during which practising Muslims do not drink or eat between sunrise and sunset. Between 1,300 and 2,000 people died in Karachi, with the impact of the heatwave exacerbated by fasting, despite calls of local clerics to suspend fasting if necessary. Additional factors explaining the severity of last year’s heatwave included a delay in emergency warning, widespread power cuts, and a general lack of preparedness by the authorities and other responding agencies.   

Pakistan: Earthquake
Created: 07/04/2016 +

Overview

On 26 October, at 9:09 UTC time, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck northeast Afghanistan, north Pakistan and some areas of Indian-controlled Kashmir. The earthquake occurred at a depth of 212.5km, with the epicentre near Jurm, in the Badakhshan province of Afghanistan. The affected areas of Pakistan, more densely populated than those of Afghanistan, registered major damage, and casualties. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in northern Pakistan, was the most affected, with at least 221 dead, and 1,664 injured. The national toll is 268 dead, and 1,864 injured. Around 13,771 houses were damaged or destroyed.

Short notes

Pakistan: Drought in Sindh province
Created: 19/04/2017 +

Overview

In southeastern Sindh, below-average rainfall during the 2016 monsoon (July to October) resulted in no or substantially less crop production for the third consecutive year and in livestock losses, affecting the two main livelihood sources in the region.

According to ECHO, 27% of the population in Sindh is moderately to acutely food insecure. A lack of access to WASH facilities and medical services exacerbates food security and nutrition conditions. Landless agricultural labourers, pastoralists, and sharecroppers are most vulnerable and the worst hit. Comparable and recent data on food insecurity rates is missing, but according to the latest assessment conducted in 2015, GAM and SAM rates were well above emergency levels.

Since September 2016, response has been limited. According to a report by the UN Country Team in Pakistan published in February 2017, the 2015 findings are still valid and the region is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis.

 

Read more