ISLAMABAD: Iconic Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie Wednesday expressed her resolve to draw the international community’s attention towards the widespread devastation caused by floods in Pakistan.
Jolie said this during her visit to the National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) to express solidarity and support for the flood victims. Deputy Chairman NFRCC Ahsan Iqbal welcomed Ms Jolie and thanked her for visiting Pakistan during the most devastating floods in the country’s history.
Jolie was briefed about the flood response and measures taken so far. Jolie said she was deeply moved to see people suffering during her visit to Dadu in Sindh province where she met with flood victims.
The American actress said she stood with the flood-affected people and will spare no effort to let the world know the scale of devastation the climate change had done and the life-saving support they need. She also made an appeal of ‘do more’ to the world assistance for Pakistan to cope with the situation.
She observed that the international community was yet to assess destruction and damages due to the unprecedented flood. “Those who have survived will not be able to survive if they are not provided with assistance in the coming weeks,” she said, adding that a large number of children in the affected areas were struggling for life.
Jolie said she had never witnessed such a devastation in her life. She recalled that she witnessed Pakistan hosting the Afghan refugees when she visited the country earlier but now this part of the world itself was facing a national calamity.
She was also impressed by the military personnel who she said were helping out the affected people day and night. “I saw Pakistan Army helping out people everywhere in the flood affected areas,” she said.
She also observed that Pakistan that was less responsible for climate change was suffering more due to natural calamities. Ms Jolie said she would visit Pakistan again and again extending assistance to flood victims.
The IRC hopes Jolie’s visit will aptly shed light on this nagging issue and prompt the international community — particularly the states contributing the most to carbon emissions — to act and provide urgent support to countries withstanding the worst of the climate crisis.
Shabnam Baloch, Pakistan Country Director at the IRC said: “Climate crisis is destroying lives in Pakistan, with severe consequences especially for women and children. The resulting economic loss from these floods will likely lead to food insecurity and an increase in violence against women and girls. We need immediate support for reaching to people in urgent need, and long-term investments to stop climate change from destroying our collective futures. With more rains expected in the coming months, we hope Angelina Jolie’s visit will help the world wake up and take action.”
The IRC’s latest assessment shows people are in urgent need of food, drinking water, shelter, and healthcare. Every person surveyed reported women and girls have no access to menstrual hygiene products. Baloch elaborated that the IRC had reached over 50,000 women and girls with humanitarian assistance, including hygiene and sanitation kits.
“We have been providing lifesaving services to flood-affected communities in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh since early July and have reached almost 950,000 people with emergency supplies, food, healthcare and safe spaces,” Shabnam asserted.
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