A day after opening an air bridge to deliver aid to victims, the UN issued a warning on Tuesday that the humanitarian situation in flood-devastated Pakistan was likely to worsen.
Flooding in Pakistan has impacted more than 33 million people as a result of record monsoon rains amplified by climate change. At least 1,300 people have died as a result of the flooding, which has also destroyed bridges, roads, and businesses.
More than 1,460 health centres, the most of which were in Sindh, were damaged, according to the UN’s World Health Organization, of which 432 were completely destroyed.
The WHO and its partners have established more than 4,500 medical camps and distributed more than 230,000 quick tests for acute watery diarrhoea, malaria, dengue, hepatitis, and chikungunya.
Along with Covid-19, HIV, and polio, these diseases are already present in Pakistan, and according to WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic, “now all these are at risk of getting worse.”
In particular in the areas most severely hit, “we have already received reports of an increasing number of cases of acute watery diarrhoea, typhoid, measles, and malaria.”
An area the size of the United Kingdom has been submerged by the floods, which have affected a third of the country, according to Jasarevic.
Due to service interruptions, newborn infant mortality and severe acute malnutrition risk rising.
Jasarevic forewarned that things might get worse. The WHO has sent $1.5 million worth of emergency supplies, including tents, water purification kits, and oral rehydration sachets, as well as medications. Donors are being asked for $19 million.
In order to send relief from Dubai, UNHCR, the UN organisation for refugees, has established an air bridge. According to Indrika Ratwatte, the UNHCR’s regional director for Asia and the Pacific, the first four flights took out on Monday. There are six further aircraft scheduled carrying mattresses, tarpaulins, and kitchenware.
“The food insecurity is going to be huge because the crops are devastated, obviously, and the little they had in terms of livestock is also destroyed,” he said.
Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, will arrive on September 9 to assess the damage brought on by the floods.
Then, on September 22, it is anticipated that Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari will be in New York for the UN General Assembly. On September 15, he will travel to Washington for consultations with US government representatives.
Greta Thunberg, a Swedish environmental activist, lamented that governments and the media in the West had “decided not to explain” the “extremely tight connection” between natural disasters like the floods in Pakistan and climate change in an interview.
While announcing the emergency aid in Tokyo, Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa said that rain and flooding in Pakistan had caused over a thousand deaths in addition to infrastructural damage. Japan promised Pakistan $7 million in assistance.
A few days back, DG WHO took to his twitter account to spread awareness about the situation.
As massive rainfall and flooding continues in #Pakistan, @WHO warns of water- and vector-borne diseases: https://t.co/JfZNKEFMng
Key priority is to ensure rapid access to essential health services to affected populations, disease surveillance, outbreak prevention and control. pic.twitter.com/x4njOjbVAQ
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) August 31, 2022
Before this, other nations and corporations made aid pledges to Pakistan, including KFC, Google, and Apple.