Floods across Pakistan have killed at least 1,100 people and damaged nearly 1 million homes in natural disaster caused by severe weather conditions and climate change.
Extreme levels of monsoon rainfall and melting glaciers have provoked major flooding in Pakistan since mid-June. Some 33 million people have been affected by the devastation in all four of the country’s provinces.
International aid started reaching the country on 29 August, while military forces and volunteers are leading evacuation operations.
Planning Minister, Ahsan Iqbal, said Pakistan had been feeling the effects of climate change caused by the West and its “irresponsible development” and urged further international aid to prevent future crisis.
“Our carbon footprint is lowest in the world,” said Minister Iqbal.
“The international community has a responsibility to help us, upgrade our infrastructure, to make our infrastructure more climate resilient, so that we don’t have such losses every three, four, five years. Those areas which used to receive rainfall aren’t receiving rainfall and those areas which used to receive very mild rains are receiving very heavy rainfall.”
Recovery cost is estimated at more than £8.54 billion and might take about five years, added Minister Iqbal in an interview with Reuters.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif, has visited the flood-hit areas, declaring that the “magnitude of the calamity” is bigger than expected.
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The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) has since released an internal report on the extent of the devastation.
As of 26 August, 66 districts have been officially declared to be “calamity hit” by the Government of Pakistan as heavy rains continue to cause flooding, and landslides result in displacement and damage across the country.
In the meantime, Her Majesty The Queen has expressed Her sympathies to the people of Pakistan, as She declared to be “deeply saddened” by the tragedy.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have donated funds to the international aid charity Islamic Relief, which is supporting people affected by the flooding.
Learn more: UN OCHA