In July 2010 Pakistan was hit by the worst floods in its history. Twenty million people across an area of over 100,000 sq. km were affected, and there was widespread damage to property and infrastructure. A massive relief operation was launched by the Government of Pakistan, provincial and local governments, supported by national and international humanitarian organizations. The emergency relief phase came to an end in most areas on 31 January 2011, with the exception of five districts in Sindh and Balochistan which also ended on 15 April 2011. Effective 1 March 2011, focus was shifted to early recovery in the severely affected 29 districts by establishing a coordination mechanism under Early Recovery Working Group (ERWG) arrangement at federal, provincial and district levels. An assessment of early recovery needs was carried out for eight sectors and four cross-cutting themes, and based on this a Strategic Early Recovery Action Plan (SERAP) was prepared in April 2011. The early recovery phase of the disaster response came to an end on 31 December 2011.