In a report released by the Planning Ministry back in October, the cataclysmic floods this year’s monsoon season brought resulted in over $30 billion worth of economic losses and a need for $16.3 billion for rehabilitation, a report mentioned.
Torrential rains and glaciers melting in the up north triggered floods across the country, killing hundreds since June, apart from displacing and affecting over 33 million people, draining away their homes, harvests, livestock, and whatever little infrastructure rural areas have, especially in the province of Sindh and Balochistan.
As the time post floods surfaces, rehabilitation efforts are an uphill task that the government has undertaken to restore those affected by the disaster. Large swatches of agricultural land have been inundated, no longer fit for harvesting crops this season, which points to the looming problem of food security as well as survival for the affectees, whose only source is the produce from their farming.
Read more: Floods cause around 1,200 deaths in Pakistan
Countless organizations have joined hands with non-profits to extend support, as over the months, millions of rupees worth of relief goods, supplies et, al., have poured through major cities as well as foreign countries to extend direct and indirect support for rehabilitation.
Earlier last month, Akhuwat Islamic Microfinance shared numbers of its relief efforts under its two-pronged Akhuwat Relief Program and Akhuwat Rehabilitation Program, in which 36,377 families have been disbursed with cash, whereas 7,511 and 931 families have received food rations and tents respectively; while 45,483 meals and 3,712 people have received meals and medical aid.
On the rehabilitation front, loans worth 141 million rupees have been disbursed to 931 families. This is a very important step in laying the groundwork for these families, as, without homes, they will not be able to settle, survive and eventually contribute to the economy.
One of the many organizations contributing to the noble cause is Nestlé Pakistan which invited its employees to make voluntary donations. The company-wide donation drive collected PKR 3 million in cash, which was matched 1:1 by the company, and a total of PKR 6 million was raised. Named the Nestlé Rehabilitation Fund, in partnership with Akhuwat, it will extend interest-free loans to flood victims for rehabilitation purposes.
Read more: The devastating floods in Pakistan
This is a prime example of how a structured, coordinated relief effort can bear fruit in an effective way. Talking about this collaboration, Samer Chedid, CEO of Nestlé Pakistan, said, “At Nestlé, we care deeply for the communities in which we operate, and it gives me great pleasure to share that the Nestlé family shares these sentiments as well and has stepped up repeatedly to find new ways to give back. Akhuwat has been a longstanding partner, and I want to commend it for its relentless efforts to support people in need.”
Since the onset of floods, Nestlé has been continuously extending support in areas that are beyond reach in terms of access through government organizations, such as the National Disaster Management Authority and Provincial Disaster Management Authority.
Earlier, Nestlé also donated 708,840 servings of NESTLÉ BUNYAD, a specialized nutrition formula designed to meet children’s daily iron requirement, through the Provincial Disaster Management Authority. The company also donated 325,000 liters of clean drinking water and 10,000 liters of milk to the National Disaster Management Authority in their relief efforts across the country.
Waqar Ahmad, who heads the corporate affairs function at Nestlé Pakistan, said that flood affectees had a dire need for access to clean drinking water, one of the biggest concerns for communities displaced by flooding across Pakistan. “That’s where we focused the bulk of our efforts,” he said.
“Nestlé has always been at the forefront in responding to the call of government of Pakistan for climatic and humanitarian disasters to help citizens in need,” he added.
Apart from this, Nestlé also has a Nutrition Support Program, under which it regularly provides milk to approximately 20,000 children and underprivileged people who suffer from key micronutrient deficiencies in urban, semi-urban, and rural areas. The children that attend the educational institutes that Nestlé supports are poor, and their parents cannot afford to fulfill their nutritional needs. The schools are selected after giving due consideration to the profile of the managing organization to ensure that the benefits of this program reach those who need it most. The initiative is geared toward supporting school-going children whose parents are unable to provide them with a serving of milk to fulfill their nutritional needs. The program also supports organizations working with destitute women as well as social welfare organizations for sports, culture, and differently-abled children.