More than 33 million people were affected by “the worst humanitarian disaster of this decade,” local authorities say
Local officials stated that floods in Pakistan have caused havoc in Pakistan over the past months, killing more than 1000 people and injuring or displacing thousands more.
According to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority, the deadly monsoon rains and floods have claimed at least 1,033 lives since June, with no less than 1,456 injured. In addition, the agency reported that 119 people were killed in just 24 hours.
On Thursday, Sherry Rehman, the nation’s minister for climate change, revealed that at least 33 million had been affected by the calamity, calling the floods “Incredibly rare” and “This is the most devastating humanitarian crisis of this decade.”
“While Pakistan has just completed its 8th cycle of monsoon, it normally experiences three to four rain cycles per year,” she said. “These are the shocking percentages of super-fluid torrents.”
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked for international help to respond to the disaster while declaring a national emergency. In response to his request, the UN will make a “Flash appeal” to the international community to collect $160 million in order to help people struck by the floods, according to Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesperson Asim Iftikhar.
Floods are not uncommon in Pakistan, but this monsoon season turned out to be unprecedented, laying waste across all four of the country’s provinces. As of Thursday (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – OCHA), 184,000 people had been forced from their homes to find shelter in relief camps. Nearly 300,000 houses have been damaged, many roads blocked and local populations affected by blackouts.
For cash-strapped Pakistan, reconstruction will be difficult in the future. Islamabad must reduce its expenditures so the International Monetary Fund approves bailout packages that could play an important role in stopping economic collapse.