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Pakistan. UN appeals for $160 million in emergency funding after deadly floods | world news

Pakistan. UN appeals for $160 million in emergency funding after deadly floods | world news

Pakistan’s devastating floods are ‘probably the worst in the country’s history’, says its prime minister, as the UN appeals for $160m (£136m) emergency funds to help the nation.

The floods affected more than 33 million people, or one in seven Pakistanis.

More than 1,150 people have been killed, including more than 300 children, and millions displaced by heavy monsoon rains over the past two and a half months.

All four provinces of Pakistan were affected and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said he had visited three provinces in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to see the devastation for himself.

Satellite imagery from the company Planet showed large areas of cities completely submerged.

Halla (before).  Pic: Satellite imagery of the planet
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The town of Hala in Sindh, Pakistan on August 2. Pic: Satellite imagery of the planet
Halla (after).  Pic: Satellite imagery of the planet
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Halla on August 28. Pic: Satellite imagery of the planet

Mr Sharif said almost a million head of cattle had been lost, crops had been washed away and his government was considering importing wheat to avoid any food shortages.

He said any unintended delay by the international community in helping the victims “will be devastating to the people of Pakistan”.

About half a million displaced people live in organized camps, while others have had to find their own shelter.

Kabul River in Pakistan (front).  Pic: Satellite imagery of the planet
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A section of the Kabul River in Pakistan on August 17. Pic: Satellite imagery of the planet
Kabul River in Pakistan (after).  Pic: Satellite imagery of the planet
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Kabul on August 28. Pic: Satellite imagery of the planet

Pakistan is awash in suffering,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a video message launching the appeal.

“Pakistani people are facing a monsoon on steroids…people’s hopes and dreams have been shattered.”

The Pakistani authorities, supported by the army, rescuers and volunteers, are fighting against the consequences of the floods.

Mianwali in Pakistan (front).  Pic: Satellite imagery of the planet
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Mianwali in Punjab on August 22. Pic: Satellite imagery of the planet
Mianwali in Pakistan (after).  Pic: Satellite imagery of the planet
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Mianwali on August 28. Pic: Satellite imagery of the planet

Although rainfall stopped three days ago and floodwaters have receded in some areas, large areas remain under water.

Rescuers were evacuating stranded people to safer ground, including makeshift tent camps that have sprung up along highways, villages and towns.

Sugar
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The city of Sukkur in Sindh province on August 2. Pic: Satellite imagery of the planet
Sukkur in Pakistan (after).  Pic: Satellite imagery of the planet
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Sukkur on August 28. Pic: Satellite imagery of the planet

Early government estimates say the devastation caused $10m (£8.5m) in damage to the economy, however, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said it was of a preliminary estimate and that the actual cost would be “much higher”. “.

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Why is Pakistan flooded?

Over $1 billion in aid released

On Monday, the International Monetary Fund’s board approved the release of $1.17 billion (£1 billion), as part of a bailout deal the IMF and Pakistan signed in 2019.

But the release of a $1.17 billion tranche was suspended this year after the IMF raised concerns about Pakistan’s compliance with the terms of the deal under Imran Khan’s government.

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Londoners collect donations for Pakistan

Last week the UN allocated $3m (£2.5m) to aid agencies and their partners to respond to the floods, with the money being used for health, nutrition, food security, water and sanitation.

Pakistani Climate Minister Sherry Rehman said on Monday that new monsoons were expected in September.

While monsoons are common at this time of year in the region, they hit earlier than usual in Pakistan, officials say.

Pakistan
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All of Pakistan has been affected by the latest floods

Why are these floods particularly devastating?

The massive rains of the past week affected almost the whole country.

Pakistan is used to monsoon rains and floods, Ms Rehman said, but not like this.

The flood has the characteristics of a natural disaster fueled by climate change.

“This year, Pakistan has received the highest rainfall in at least three decades. So far this year, the rain is more than 780% above average levels,” said Abid Qaiyum Suleri, executive director of Sustainable Development Policy Institute and member. of the Climate Change Council of Pakistan.

“Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent in the region, and Pakistan is no exception.”

Read more:
Why Pakistan is at ‘ground zero’ of the climate crisis

Images reveal the devastating impact of floods in Pakistan
Queen and Prime Minister send messages to Pakistan

A man swims through flood waters heading for higher ground in Charsadda
Image:
A man swims through flood waters heading for higher ground in Charsadda

Poorer nations are paying the price for climate change

Pakistan experienced floods and similar damage in 2010 that killed nearly 2,000 people, but the government failed to implement plans to prevent future floods by preventing construction and homes in flood-prone areas and riverbeds, said Suleri.

Floods and monsoon rains have damaged a million homes and affected 33 million people and reflect how poorer countries can often pay the price for climate change in large part caused by more industrialized nations.

Since 1959, Pakistan has been responsible for just 0.4% of historic global CO2 emissions, while the US is responsible for 21.5%, China 16.5% and the EU 15% .

According to the National Disaster Management Authority, at least 498,000 people in the country of 220 million people are in relief camps after being displaced.

Many more displaced victims are believed to be living with relatives, friends or in the open, homeless.

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Antonio Guterres appealed for $116 million

Pakistan began receiving international aid this week, and more planes carrying aid from Turkey and the United Arab Emirates landed at an airport near Islamabad on Tuesday, according to a statement released by the army.

He said Chinese planes carrying aid were due to arrive later on Tuesday and that 6,500 Pakistani military personnel had been deployed to assist authorities in rescue and relief operations.

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