Speakers on Tuesday urged the authorities concerned and relief agencies that marginalized segments should be made part of the floods 2022 response and rehabilitation with dignity. They said that women, persons with special needs, children, religious minorities and transgender persons required special attention and should be kept on top of the response, recovery, and rehabilitation plans by the authorities. They were speaking at a seminar titled “Floods 2022, Addressing the Needs and Issues of Vulnerable Groups” organised by Peace & Justice. The discussions revolved around the flood response and how to make flood relief and rehabilitation more inclusive, responsive, and safe for vulnerable groups. The consultation session was attended by more than 45 individuals including representatives from Unicef, FAO, district government, civil society organizations, transgender communities, and entities engaged in the relief and rehabilitation of flood-affectees. Women, children, transgender persons, religious minorities, and persons with disabilities (PWDs) are the most vulnerable and are at risk of harassment, exclusion, and lack of mobility. Information, relief, and rehabilitation often do not reach these groups because of the social and structural barriers they face. The consultation aimed to address concerns raised about the needs of the most vulnerable groups and issues relating to their protection from social, economic, and health issues beyond their control. It came up with recommendations to ensure that these groups are taken into account in the Flood 2022 response, recovery, and rehabimunlitation plan. The participants discussed that the vulnerable groups had been severely affected by the recent floods and affectees, especially women, are in acute distress; therefore, they immediately need psychological support. Aawaz II’s Head of Programme Delivery, Mr. Arshad Mahmood gave an overview of the Aawaz II program in the opening and emphasized the need for an inclusive response system while also taking into account the vulnerabilities of marginalized groups of people. He also praised the government’s and civic society’s efforts to assist those affected under challenging circumstances. According to Rubina Nadeem, Education Specialist at Unicef, the impending winter season is making underprivileged communities more vulnerable. There aren’t enough policies in place to ensure that food is distributed fairly, that WASH facilities are available, that children are safe, and that they are engaged in educational activities. there are no specifically designated safe zones for women or children. The Lodhran Pilot Project’s chief executive, Dr. Abdul Saboor, emphasized that there is a significant data gap, especially in regard to marginalized groups. He said that there is no segmented data available for analyzing and responding to the needs and requirements of people with disabilities, transgender people, women, and children. Ms. Muneeza Butt (Manager VAW Center Multan) highlighted the need for psychological support for vulnerable groups particularly women is required. She shared that Women in flood-affected areas are visibly suffering from stress and anxiety and there is a need to focus on this. The Executive Director of Strengthening Participatory Organization Shahnawaz, weighed the need of flood victims while participating in a panel discussion about bringing the relevant government departments to the table to work together prudently to support flood victims, especially to soil research as acres of fields are now covered in mud caused by floods. He shared that poor of the poorest were worst affected by floods in 2022 in South Punjab. In DG Khan only more than 40 UCs with 790,000 population and 150,000 children are worst affected. 36,000 pregnant women requires immediate attention. Saro Imran (Transgender representative) presented the need for engaging transgender persons’ rights CBOs in Disaster Risk Response and to cater affected Transgender Persons community. Zahida Qureshi, CEO of the Society for Special Persons and Aawaz II Provincial Forum Member, expressed concern that because people with disabilities are not visible, they are frequently disregarded, particularly in emergency situations. People with disabilities are severely impacted by the flood in 2020; in rural places, many people who are mentally ill and paralysed as a result of their disabilities lack access to food, shelter, and immediate response services. Making an inclusive response system is essential to meeting the needs of PWDs and other socially marginalised groups. Surveys are immediately necessary to determine where assistance and support are currently needed, according to Ms. Bushra Khaliq, CEO of Women in Struggle for Empowerment (WISE). She also highlighted the need to develop a climate action plan to address such climate disasters in long term. She also recommended providing cash grants/ alternate earning opportunities for families in flood-affected districts for at least the next six months to mitigate disaster impact in short term. Also highlighted the need for women’s households headed by single mothers/women themselves. Mr. Jam Khalid from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) backed this up by stating that the bulk of the flood-affected people was dependent on agriculture, and that due to Flood 2022, an alarming scenario has been developing in Pakistan. Syed Raza Ali CEO of Peace & Justice Network presented the need for a more integrated response by engaging all the stakeholders, especially engaging local civil society. He also highlighted the need fr developing humanitarian standards and protocols for protecting vulnerable communities during disasters especially standards for addressing the needs of the transgender community and persons with disabilities. Proper training should also be provided on these standards. There is also a need for developing an alternate registration process for those having no CNIC in flood-affected areas. He also highlighted the need to adopt a proactive approach to address child labour and gender based violence in flood affected areas.