Friday March 31, 2023

Flood appeal

By Editorial Board
October 05, 2022

The UN and the Pakistan government have launched a revised appeal for an additional $816 million from $160 million to provide immediate relief to Pakistan’s flood victims. The UN’s flash appeal on August 30 for $160 million for Pakistan was not considered to be enough by the agency, which is why a revised humanitarian appeal was launched yesterday. The estimated damage of these devastating floods is $30 billion but it could very well be more. More than 33 million people have been displaced by these devastating floods in Pakistan. Almost 1,700 people have lost their lives in floods that are seen as a direct consequence of climate change.

The WHO chief meanwhile has tweeted that Pakistan is on the verge of a public health disaster. When a country that is already struggling with its economic woes has to deal with 33 million displaced people and one-third of its land submerged in water, it needs all the resources it can pull together to help the flood victims. Pakistan’s IDP crisis will get worse due to these floods. With winter fast approaching, shelters have been made available for 598,000 while 7.9 million are still scrambling for dry land. These are not merely stats; these are millions of people looking to survive. There has already been an outbreak of water-borne diseases in the flood-affected areas. And it is feared that not all newborn babies in these areas may survive due to the water-borne diseases and other issues. Malaria, dengue, snake bites, and other diseases are making lives extremely difficult for the flood affectees.

The climate catastrophe unfolding before our eyes is something the world has not ever seen. There will be millions who will need to be relocated until their homes are rebuilt. Due to these floods, crops have been destroyed and livestock is dead. This essentially means that there is a food security crisis on our hands while the death of livestock means that most of these people will be without an income for years. The government has a huge crisis to deal with. The international community must come to its rescue because this disaster is not of our own making. It is the result of decades of climate impunity and irresponsibility of the developed nations. The cost is now being paid by developing countries like Pakistan. Today it is us, tomorrow it may well be another country. Something has got to be done before the Global South drowns under the weight of climate change it hasn't even had a hand in.