The UN and the government of Pakistan today launched an emergency appeal to raise $160 million to help more than 5 million people affected by the devastating floods in the Asian country.
This amount will fund an emergency plan for the next six months, which initially aims to provide basic services (health, food, drinking water and shelter) to the 5.2 million people most affected by the season’s record rainfall of the monsoons, explained Jens Lerke, representative of the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha).
At the same time, these resources will help prevent the spread of diseases, such as cholera, and provide food aid to mothers and their young children.
The third part of the plan envisages the provision of assistance to refugees, the disabled and the elderly and the implementation of a system aimed at family reunification.
A third of Pakistan is under water after the worst monsoon rains in three decades.
The floods have killed at least 1,136 people, swept away countless homes and destroyed vital farmland.
More than 33 million people, one in seven Pakistanis, have been affected by the floods and nearly a million homes have been either destroyed or severely damaged.
Supporting this appeal and recalling the generosity of the Pakistani people, who have welcomed thousands of Afghan refugees in recent decades, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres placed this disaster in the wider context of climate change.
“South Asia is one of the hot spots of the climate crisis. People living in these hot spots are 15 times more likely to die from the effects of climate change,” Guterres said.
“At a time when we continue to see more and more extreme weather events around the world, it is scandalous that action to tackle climate change is limited while global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, putting all of us, everywhere at increasing risk,” he complained.
The UN has already mobilized 7 million dollars, mainly by transferring money from other programs, to finance the most urgent needs, while an additional 3 million dollars has been released from the UN Emergency Response Fund, as Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dizarik said yesterday Monday .