ISLAMABAD — International aid was reaching Pakistan on Monday, as the military and volunteers desperately tried to evacuate many thousands stranded by widespread flooding driven by “monster monsoons” that have claimed more than 1,000 lives this summer.
Turkey and the United Arab Emirates flew cargo planes to aid the poor nation. On Sunday, they landed in Islamabad with tents, food, and other essentials. The National Disaster Management Authority dispatched trucks carrying water, tents and food to different parts of Pakistan for the tens of thousand flood victims.
These were the same nations who pledged support to Pakistan during the flood crisis. On Tuesday, the United Nations will hold an international appeal to Pakistani flood victims in Islamabad.
Shabaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan, said Monday that the rainfalls in Pakistan are now the worst they have seen for three decades.
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“I saw floodwater everywhere, wherever I went in recent days and even today,” Sharif said in Charsadda, one of the devastated towns.
Flash floods have been triggered by torrential rains in Pakistan, which caused flash flooding across the country, causing damage to nearly 1,000,000 homes, and killing at least 1,061 people.
Pakistani authorities say this year’s devastation is worse than in 2010, when floods killed 1,700 people. Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, the country’s military chief, said Sunday that his country may take years to recover. He called on Pakistanis abroad to give generously for flood victims.
At a time Pakistan is in the midst of one the most severe economic crises, floods and heavy rains caused massive destruction. Pakistan says it recently narrowly avoided a default, and later Monday IMF’s executive board was expected to approve the release of the much-awaited $1.7 billion for this Islamic nation.
One man searches for his salvageable possessions in his flood-hit house in Jaffarabad (a district of Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan provincial), Sunday, August 28, 2022.
AP Photo/Zahid Hussain
The bailout agreement was signed by Pakistan and IMF in 2019 But the release of a $1.7 billion tranche has been on hold since earlier this year, when the IMF expressed concern about Pakistan’s compliance with the deal’s terms under former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government.
Khan also planned to launch a fundraising effort Monday night for flood victims.
The United Nations stated last week that $3 million has been allocated for U.N. agencies in Pakistan and their partners to help with floods. This money will go towards health, nutrition and food security in flood-affected regions, with a particular focus on those most in need.
According to scientists and Sherry Rehman, a Pakistani senator and the country’s climate minister, Pakistan suffered heavier rains this year mainly because of climate change, which also caused fire in forests this year.
However, critics say Pakistan’s government has hardly any interest in building new dams and water reservoirs.
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The unprecedented monsoon season has affected all four of the country’s provinces. The floods caused damage to more than 150 bridges. Many roads also were destroyed, which made rescue efforts difficult. Officials claim they used military planes, helicopters trucks, and boats to help people escape from their homes and to deliver critical aid.
Many flood survivors claim that after their displacement by flooding, they are still waiting to receive help. Some say that they were provided with tents and food, while others claim that they did not receive any food. Pakistan charities are also helping flood victims.
To aid civil authorities in relief and rescue efforts across the country, at least 6,500 soldiers have been sent by the government.
Sharif said that all people who lose their homes would be provided housing by the government.
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