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Case Study

Markets in Crises: The 2010 Floods in Sindth, Pakistan

2015 — By Steven A. Zyck, Irina Mosel, Huma Dad Khan, Saad Shabbir

Floods in Pakistan in 2010 inundated a wide swath of territory, affecting 18 million people and killing approximately 2,000. The disaster also affected businesses, from some of the largest factories and most fertile agricultural land in the country to small village shops. Many businesses closed, either temporarily or permanently, and people in affected areas could not rely on local markets to meet their family’s basic needs or obtain a livelihood.

Many interventions in response to the floods involved markets across Pakistan and in affected areas. International and Pakistani NGOs and others attempted to purchase food – including rice, wheat, fruit and vegetables – locally rather than from foreign suppliers. These same agencies also bought large quantities of construction materials in order to build shelters during the relief, early recovery and reconstruction phases. Large quantities of money were injected into local economies, albeit in very uneven ways.

This study looks at the impact of the flood emergency and subsequent humanitarian response on markets in flood-affected areas of Sindh province.