Record-Breaking Floods in Pakistan

International community rushes to send flood relief to victims


Arshad Butt/AP Photo

Line for relief made by children in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, Jaffarabad

by Isabel Andjell, Staff Writer

According to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), unforeseen floods have amassed over 1,265 casualties since the middle of June. Sherry Rehman, the country’s climate change minister, stated that 15% of the population has seen devastating effects, with 2 million acres of crops impacted, and over 794,000 heads of livestock killed. Over 5,000 kilometers of roads are damaged, along with +1 million homes irreversible damaged.

The usually destructive effects of monsoons have been exacerbated because of climate change. Rehman has previously said that Pakistan is the eighth most vulnerable country to the climate crisis, despite being responsible for less than 1% of global-warming gases. An already dire food crisis has also worsened with the floods, in addition to over 880 hospitals facing destruction, 180 of them are irrevocably destroyed. Health officials have warned people of water-borne diseases stemming from a lack of access to clean water.

The director of WaterAid Pakistan, Arif Jabbar Khan, said, “Families are now living on the banks of overflowed canals and rivers in ramshackle huts made of bamboo and plastic. They have even been drinking flood water because there is no other option – a recipe for large-scale disease outbreaks. We are doing all we can to reach them.”

NASA MODIS satellite sensor image of Sindh province taken on August 28 (NASA Worldview)

The international community briskly responded to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s appeal for aid. Islamabad received French aircrafts carrying medicine, water pumps, doctors, and other experts. The United States announced $30m worth of aid for victims of the flood. On Thursday, September 1, UK’s Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal to aid flood victims raised £13.5m. Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, China, Qatar, and the UAE, have additionally sent aid to Pakistan. The nation is further distributing aid through a National Flood Response and Coordination Center.