The UN secretary general has issued a warning after floods swamped a third of Pakistan, calling it “a monsoon on steroids.”
In a $160 million appeal to aid the tens of millions of people affected by the calamity, Antonio Guterres pleaded with the international community to support Pakistan.
“The persistent effect of epochal amounts of rain and flooding,” he said as his excuse.
Since June, at least 1,136 people have died, while bridges, crops, houses, and highways have all been destroyed nationwide.
Sherry Rehman, the nation’s minister of climate change, referred to the situation as a “epic humanitarian calamity caused by climate change” on Monday.
The terrible floods of 2010, which claimed more than 2,000 lives and were the worst in Pakistani history, are comparable to this year’s record monsoon.
Mr. Guterres referred to South Asia as a “climate catastrophe hotspot” where people were 15 times more likely to die as a result of climate change in a video message.
“Let’s not continue to sleepwalk into climate change destroying our world. It’s Pakistan right now. It may be your nation tomorrow.”
According to him, 5.2 million people were expected to get food, water, sanitation, emergency education, and health support through the UN appeal.
Flooding is caused by a variety of variables, but climate change’s warming of the atmosphere increases the likelihood of severe rainfall.
Since the start of the industrial period, the world has already warmed by around 1.2C, and temperatures will continue to rise unless governments drastically reduce emissions.
According to Pakistan’s planning minister, the floods are estimated to have cost at least $10 billion (£8.5 billion) in damage, and many people are experiencing severe food shortages. An economic catastrophe was already affecting the nation.
Wide expanses of productive agricultural land have been completely destroyed, threatening food supply and driving up prices.
Zahida Bibi, a customer at a market in Lahore, told AFP news agency, “Things are so expensive because of this flood that we can’t buy anything.”
One in seven Pakistanis, according to official estimates, have been impacted by the flooding. However, hilly areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have also been severely affected. The situation is worst in provinces like Sindh and Balochistan.
Authorities have ordered thousands of people to leave communities cut off in the northern Swat Valley where bridges and roads have been destroyed, but they are still having trouble getting to those who are stuck, even with the assistance of helicopters.
“Village after village has been wiped out. Millions of houses have been destroyed,” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Sunday after flying over the area in a helicopter.
After Pakistan issued its own request for assistance, aid has begun to arrive. Tents and medications have been delivered by the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, and the US and the UK have pledged their support.
The IMF announced earlier on Monday that a $1.2 billion loan for the nation had been approved.
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