Monday, November 28, 2022

Pakistan gets international assistance to cope with climate catastrophe as floods kill 937

The international community has stepped up to help Pakistan with flood relief efforts as the cash-strapped country struggles to cope with massive floods across the country caused by torrential rains, killing more than 900 people since mid-June.

According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), at least 937 people have been killed in flood-related incidents since the onset of the monsoon season in mid-June, including 326 children and 191 women. The floods have also injured more than 1300 people across the country.

Considering the devastating situation of the country, Federal Minister for Climate Change, Sherry Rehman on Wednesday called for immediate rescue and humanitarian assistance from international partners to help Pakistan cope with torrential rains and flash floods.

“No question of the provinces or Islamabad being able to cope with this magnitude of climate catastrophe on their own. Lives are at risk, and thousands are homeless. Int’l partners need to mobilize assistance,” she said in a tweet.

International Community stepping up for Flood relief aid

Following countries and organizations have responded to Pakistan’s call for humanitarian aid and have agreed to dispatch emergency rations and food supplies along with financial assistance:

UN has mobilized $7 million for flood victims

The UN is working alongside the government to provide support in the most flood-affected provinces of Balochistan and Sindh.

“To date, the UN team has mobilized $7 million to respond to the floods and has provided 1,100 metric tons of food rations, therapeutic feed, and nutritional supplements,” a spokeswoman for the UN said at a briefing on Wednesday. “It also provided medicine, water purification tablets, tents, mosquito nets, blankets, soaps, hygiene and dignity kits, newborn baby kits, tarpaulins, and other goods.”

The current assistance by UN agencies includes

  • medical supplies and services by WHO
  • safe water and nutrition by UNICEF
  • support for maternal health by UNFPA
  • food assistance by WFP
  • vaccination of livestock by FAO
  • shelter for refugees by UNHCR.

China provides $300,000 emergency cash and other relief items

Considering the current situation, China has decided to provide another batch of emergency humanitarian supplies to flood-hit Pakistan. It had previously provided Pakistan with 4,000 tents, 50,000 blankets, and 50,000 pieces of waterproof canvas.

The new batch of aid, announced by a Chinese spokesperson on Wednesday, includes 25,000 tents and other supplies in dire need along with US$300,000 in emergency cash assistance from the Red Cross Society of China to the Pakistan Red Crescent Society.

European Union sends Euro 350,000 assistance

The EU is providing €350,000 (nearly PKR 76 million) to supply crucial humanitarian assistance to the flood affectees of Pakistan.

“The devastating floods have left a trail of destruction in Pakistan, causing many to suffer the loss of their homes, livelihoods, and belongings,” said Taheeni Thammannagoda, who oversees EU humanitarian programs in Pakistan. “The EU funding will help get vital assistance to the most vulnerable people to support them during this hard time.”

The aid will focus primarily on the hardest-hit districts of Jhal Magsi and Lasbella in the southwestern Pakistani province of Balochistan.

Saudi Arabia sends relief

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia’s KSRelief sent the third consignment since the monsoons began and it included 100 emergency relief trucks, carrying 950 tons of food items to 17 flood-ravaged districts of Pakistan. It also provided 10,000 food packages to the flood-hit areas.

“More than 70,000 people will benefit from this emergency relief,” Saudi Ambassador Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki said at a ceremony in Islamabad before the goods were dispatched.

US pledges $1 million

The United States announced a new $1 million grant in support of Pakistan’s efforts to address floods. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the US is providing $1 million to build resilience against natural disasters in addition to the previous $100,000 for Pakistan.

https://mobile.twitter.com/SecBlinken/status/1559980014422081538

PM Pakistan appeals for international assistance

Pakistan had launched an international appeal seeking funds for relief and rehabilitation of flood-stricken people and reconstruction of damaged infrastructure.

Besides seeking international assistance, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also urged the nation to donate as ‘hundreds of billions’ are required for the rehabilitation of flood victims.

“The current relief operation needs Rs 80 billion and hundreds of billions of rupees also required to overcome the losses as well as for rehabilitation of the victims,” the prime minister said in a video message.

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