Pakistan floods – the emergency response – education

INEE has responded quickly and provided those who can help with the resources and links below:

Over the past month, Pakistan has experienced the worst monsoon-related floods in living memory. Heavy rainfall, flash floods and riverine floods have devastated large parts of Pakistan since the arrival of seasonal monsoon rains on 22 July. The flood waters devastated towns and villages, downed power and communications lines, and inflicted major damage to buildings. Many key roads and major bridges are damaged or destroyed. Some districts remain accessible only by water or air transport. According to UN estimations, half of the 15.4 millions of people affected by the floods are children. Over 1,400 people have died and at least 893,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed. The prevailing socioeconomic conditions, along with flood situation have exacerbated the living conditions of all those residing in the flood-affected districts. Of particular concern, due to cultural constraints, women and girls are sometimes not able to access basic services or humanitarian aid.
Impact on Education:
Education services and infrastructure have been severely disrupted and damaged by the flooding.

  • According to initial reports, there are 309,000 children – including 136,000 girls – whose schools have been damaged. In addition, there are 306,000 children – including 135,000 girls – whose schools have been converted into shelters.

  • About 5,500 schools, some of which were already in poor conditions prior to floods, have been converted into shelters for local population.
  • As the summer vacations draw to a close in most places by mid to end-August, timely continuation of school year for approximately 6 million children remains a huge challenge.
  • Children have undergone severe trauma in being displaced from their home and witnessing loss of lives and livelihoods around them. A large number of local teachers have also been directly affected and displaced and teacher absenteeism is expected to be an issue.

Resource MobilizationThe Pakistan Initial Flood Emergency Response Plan was issued on 10 August. The appeal requests a total of US$ 459.7 million. Although an education response plan was prepared, at the last moment this was not included as part of this first round of requests. The initial appeal will be revised within 30 days to reflect assessed needs and, according to current indications, will include education as the situation moves towards early recovery. In early August, the Education Cluster estimated more than US$ 20 million will be required to implement its response plan. This is likely to increase as the waters recede and needs become more apparent.

The overall emergency response will be less effective if education is excluded. In Pakistan, theresumption of education allows, for example, the provision of inoculations against cholera and typhoid and the treatment of conditions including diarrhea. Providing children with a safe place also enables parents to access services and recover livelihoods more easily.
Education Cluster Strategy and proposed activitiesThe Education Cluster aims to ensure that children in flood-affected areas have safe and sustainable access to quality education. The Education Cluster in Pakistan has been active for several years, co-lead by UNICEF and Save the Children. The Education Cluster is working closely with the Protection, WASH, Health, Food and Shelter clusters and the Child Protection sub clusters to give a holistic and integrated response to the flood affected population. Planned activities include:

  • Completing a needs assessment of the impact of the floods on the education sector in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Baluchistan, Punjab, Sindh (by September 2010). A multi-sector needs assessment is already underway.
  • Restoring educational services in schools converted into IDP shelters for the flood affected population in the four provinces of Pakistan (estimated at several hundred).(by November 2010)
  • Providing SIP (School Improvement Plan) grants to schools damaged by floods (currently assessed at 1,891 (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 444, Punjab: 1,307, Baluchistan: 140) with priority given to affected girls schools. (by November)
  • Work with other clusters to provide health screening, water and sanitation facilities, hygiene awareness, and school feeding programmes in affected areas. (by November)
  • Work with the shelter cluster to identify alternative living spaces for those displaced by the floods and sheltering in schools. (by November)

How you can help
Education actors:

  • Contribute to assessments of education-related needs in all affected areas.
  • Continue the school cycle to give normalcy and routine to children; this is of utmost importance. We must act immediately to ensure children can access quality education as schools open in late August and September 2010.
  • Establish temporary learning spaces where schools have been destroyed or extensively damaged to ensure continuation of educational activities.
  • Restore educational services in schools converted into IDP shelters for the flood-affected population. Work with the Shelter Cluster to identify alternative living spaces for those sheltering in schools.
  • Provide psychosocial support to traumatized children and reintegrate them into day-to-day school activities.
  • Use schools as a point of entry to inoculate children for cholera/typhoid, prevent/treat other
  • diseases (diarrhea, worms, skin infections, etc), and provide critical early childhood development activities (e.g. parent training, pre-school programmes, transition to school).


  • Contribute urgently needed funds for education – likely to be in range of $20 million for immediate response interventions.
  • Fund the Education Cluster to carry out a rapid assessment, followed by a more in-depth assessment, in all affected areas.
  • Include funding for education programmes as part of their emergency response, including the establishment of temporary learning spaces to ensure continuation of educational activities.
  • Provide education support in areas where cross-clusters and cross-sector outcomes will be realized (e.g. WASH, Health, Protection).

Related Resources:

INEE Minimum Standards updated 2010 provide good practices and concrete guidance to governments and humanitarian workers for coordinated action to enhance the quality of educational preparedness and response, increase access to relevant learning opportunities, and ensure humanitarian accountability in providing these services.

INEE Pocket Guide to Inclusive Education provides practical strategies to ensure the education system is safe, accessible and effective for all vulnerable groups including ethnic minorities.

INEE Pocket Guide to Gender distils essential gender equality programming principles, and provides concrete strategies for putting gender equality into practice.

INEE Guidance Notes on Teaching and Learning offer practical, in-depth guidance on issues of Curricula Review and Adaptation; Teacher Training, Professional Development and Support; Instruction and Learning Processes; and the Assessment of Learning Outcomes.

INEE Reference Guide to External Financing provides an overview of the difference types of mechanisms for financing education in order to help governments, policy makers and civil society better understand the ways in which donors provide education assistance, how various funding mechanisms work and why donors choose one funding mechanism over another.

INEE Guidance Notes on Safer School Construction provides a framework to develop a context- specific plan for disaster resilient construction and retrofitting of school buildings, including a series of suggested steps that highlight key points that should be considered when planning a safer school construction and/or retrofitting initiative.

INEE Education in Emergencies Talking Points focuses on emergency response and the linkages to be made between education and other sectors. The last 5 pages provide links to key education and emergency response tools.

Flood Disasters: Learning from previous relief and recovery operations (ALNAP, 2008) This briefing paper provides a synthesis of and an introduction to key lessons from evaluations of relief and recovery/humanitarian response to flooding in the last 20 years from Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Click here to access additional resources related to floods and education.

Related Websites:

OCHA Webportal An inter-agency website for Pakistan has been established as a center for information management and financial tracking, including OCHA, other agencies and NGOs Sit Reps.

One Response Education Cluster Website compiles Education Cluster key documents and tools while the One Response Webpage on Pakistan provides updates on funding, coordination and key priorities across sectors.

ReliefWeb Site provides Education updates on Pakistan, including OCHA, Save the Children and UNICEF Sit Reps.

The following documents are available on request by emailing the Education Cluster at

CCCM Collective Centre Guidelines includes a section on education, available on request.

Orientation for Education Staff on Psychosocial Support and Education This tool is an example of an Orientation Seminar for members of the Education Cluster or other education actors. It draws upon the IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings. The seminar content is available on request.

Psychosocial Teacher Training Materials (UNICEF, 2009) This package provides materials for training teachers to address the psychosocial needs of learners, and be aware of their support needs.

Safe Schools in Safe Territories (UNICEF, 2009) This document includes a section on measures that can be taken to minimize the negative impact if the use of educational institutions as shelters.
Both UNICEF documents are available on request.

Education Cluster Advocacy Briefing on Pakistan,available on request

Education Cluster Joint Needs Assessment Toolkit This Toolkit aims to guide national Education Clusters, or other education sector working groups, in the collective design and application of an education needs assessment to generate reliable, comprehensive and timely information to inform effective inter-agency emergency education response. A Short Guide to Education in Rapid Needs Assessments has also been developed. Both documents are available on request pending their publication next month.


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