The United Nations and the Pakistani government launched an emergency appeal for $160 million on Tuesday to help those hardest hit by the devastating floods in the country.
The funds will provide 5.2 million people with food, water, sanitation, emergency education, protection and health support, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a video statement, calling the flooding a “colossal crisis”.
The aid, covering the initial six months of the crisis response, will also help to avoid outbreaks of cholera, and to provide food aid to mothers and their young children.
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It will also provide assistance to refugees, the disabled and the elderly and facilitate schemes to reunite families separated by the disaster.
Tens of millions of people have been affected by relentless monsoon rains that have submerged a third of Pakistan and claimed more than 1,100 lives.
The rains that began in June have unleashed the worst flooding in more than a decade, washing away swathes of vital crops and damaging or destroying more than a million homes.
“Pakistan is awash in suffering,” UN Secretary General @antonioguterres said in a video message for launch of appeal in Islamabad & Geneva. “The Pakistani people are facing a monsoon on steroids – relentless impact of epochal levels of rain and flooding.”https://t.co/liRZp5q53y
— Pakistan Peoples Party – PPP (@PPP_Org) August 30, 2022
“Pakistan is awash in suffering. The Pakistani people are facing a monsoon on steroids — the relentless impact of epochal levels of rain and flooding,” Guterres said.
He branded the floods a “climate catastrophe”, saying South Asia was one of the world’s climate crisis hotspots.
“People living in these hotspots are 15 times more likely to die from climate impacts,” he said.
“As we continue to see more and more extreme weather events around the world, it is outrageous that climate action is being put on the back burner as global emissions of greenhouse gases are still rising, putting all of us — everywhere — in growing danger.”
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Guterres’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric told a press briefing on Monday that the UN had already mobilised about $7 million through redirecting existing programmes and resources, while an additional $3 million has been released by the UN emergency response fund.
AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk