The rampant flood in Pakistan is wreaking havoc across the South-asian nations. More than 1100 people have been killed since June, while roads, crops, homes and bridges have been washed away.
The secretary general of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday that Pakistan is facing “a monsoon on steroids”, after a third of the country was submerged due to floods. He urged the world to come to Pakistan’s aid as he launched a $160m appeal to help the tens of millions affected in the disaster.
Many are comparing the floods this year in Pakistan to the devastating floods of 2010, which were the deadliest in the country’s history, killing more than 2,000 people.
Situation on the ground
The flood situation is most severe in provinces such as Sindh and Balochistan, but mountainous regions in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have also been badly hit.The situation on the ground is dire. Currently, more than 300,000 people are living in temporary camps due to rain and floods.
In the province of Sindh, there is a need of one million tents to house displaced people and an estimated 33 million people have been affected by the floods.Thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate villages cut off in northern Swat Valley, where bridges and roads have been swept away.
Inequality in global response
The UN Secretary General called South Asia a “climate crisis hotspot” where people were 15 times more likely to die from climate impacts.
“Let’s stop sleepwalking towards the destruction of our planet by climate change. Today, it’s Pakistan. Tomorrow, it could be your country,” he said in a video message.
According to the World Bank, seventy-four of the world’s poorest countries, which contributed to less than 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, will be the most devastated by climate change. The developed world’s comparative apathy for places like Pakistan in a climate catastrophe can be defined as “climate colonialism”. Global South can no longer be ignored.
A minister in Pakistan said on Monday that estimates suggest the floods have caused at least $10bn (£8.5bn) of damage, and many people face serious food shortages.Earlier this week, Pakistan’s climate change minister Sherry Rehman described the situation as a “climate-induced humanitarian disaster of epic proportions”.
Financial aid is slowly starting to arrive, after Pakistan launched its own appeal for help.
The United Arab Emirates and Turkey have delivered tents and medicines, while the US and Britain have pledged their support.The International Monetary Fund said it had approved a $1.2 billion loan for the country.