Noble Peace award winner Malala Yousafzai spent the last two days in Pakistan meeting with leaders, educators and young women from flood-impacted communities in Sindh and called for an immediate solution to the challenges being faced by the education sector in flood hit areas. She also urged the immediate reinstatement of schools for girls.

According to a press release issued by Malala Fund, Malala and Ziauddin also met with Sindh government officials in Karachi to discuss the challenges facing education in hard-hit areas. She urged leaders in Sindh and across the country to focus on mitigating education loss in their response plans, including working to reinstate schools as learning centers and providing incentives for girls to return to school after the crisis.

“The scale of the destruction is astounding and the psychosocial and economic impact on the lives of people, especially women and girls cannot be overstated,” said Malala. “Millions of Pakistanis are suffering the consequences of climate inaction. World leaders must step up, accelerate their response plans and mobilize funds needed to help Pakistan rebuild and support impacted populations.”

Malala Fund is calling for urgent global and regional action to ensure impacted students receive the support and resources they need to return to school. In addition to Malala Fund’s initial emergency relief grant, Malala Fund has committed up to $700,000 (PKR 154 Million) to organizations in Pakistan, an investment that includes direct funding to local partners and partnerships to support flood relief.

Through this visit, they aimed to better understand girls’ experiences, refocus international attention on the growing humanitarian crisis and amplify calls for emergency aid.

Malala visited relief sites in Dadu and met with flood-affected women, girls and their families. They spoke with her about their experiences, challenges and asks of leaders. One young woman, 16-year-old Sohaila said: “I want to go to school, but there is so much water. If there was less water, I’d even go through it. Now we are hearing that the flood waters will stay for five months.” The flood has disrupted learning for nearly 3.5 million children. It also destroyed almost half the schools in the Sindh province — those still standing are now temporary shelters or response centers.

Ziauddin Yousafzai added: “Pakistan had the second highest rate of out-of-school students with nearly 22 million children facing great barriers to education. Without urgent action to undo the devastation caused by these floods, the education of 12 million more children is at risk. Pakistan is my home — and I want to see every child able to access the education they deserve.”

Related: UVAS sends two more relief teams to flood hit areas

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Arsalan Haider is a reporter at Academia Mag and has worked with leading national dailies and news channels. He tweets @arsalanhaider14

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