Pakistan floods: 1,300 casualties so far with over 5L displaced
Pakistan is dealing with catastrophic floods as one-third of the country is currently submerged. Around 1,300 people have lost their lives, including 29 deaths in the last 24 hours, while over five lakh have been displaced from their homes. Relief and rescue operations are underway as the country has suffered heavy damage, which initial estimates mark around $10 billion.
Why does this story matter?
- Pakistan has been on the receiving end of adverse effects of climate change despite contributing merely 1% to global carbon emissions, as per a report by Nature.
- These effects are seen as a warning sign for the rest of the world.
- Before the floods, Pakistan witnessed four heatwaves leading to multiple forest fires, followed by a long monsoon dumping a record amount of rain.
14 lakh houses damaged, 7 lakh livestock killed
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said that over 14 lakh houses were partially or completely damaged, and over seven lakh livestock were killed in the floods. The worst affected province is Sindh with 180 deaths, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (138) and Balochistan (125), as per Geo News. With one-third of the country inundated, over three crore people have been affected in the country.
Over 5 lakh rehabilitated in relief camps
Over five lakh displaced people have been rehabilitated in relief camps across Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, and Punjab. Federal Minister of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, Shazia Mari said 7,24,000 flood-hit families received a cash relief of PKR 25,000 and an amount of PKR 1,825 crore has been disbursed. She hailed the Benazir Income Support Programme's quick response to relief works.
See Pak minister Shazia Mari's tweet
So far 723,919 families have received the 25,000 cash relief (per family) an amount of Rs.18.25 Billion has been disbursed.— Shazia Atta Marri (@ShaziaAttaMarri) September 3, 2022
Despite challenges,Benazir Income Support Program rolled out its operations within no time after the announcement by Prime Minister. #FloodsInPakistan https://t.co/pqg3IjDAtY
Pakistan looks up to rest of the world for support
Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal implored the international community to come forward to support Pakistan. Earlier, Federal Minister for Climate Change, Sherry Rehman had said hygiene kits and waterproof tents were short on the ground, while cash was the immediate need. Pakistan's Economic Affairs Division (EAD) was in touch with 35 bilateral and multilateral donors to bridge funding gaps in relief works.
Worst flood in 47 years has triggered inflation
This is the worst flood the country has witnessed in 47 years and it has triggered inflation, hunger, and fears of an epidemic, leading to a crisis. The inflation rate was reportedly at 21% in June, which steadily grew to 25% in July, and reached 27% in August. Inflation rate for food grains was at 30% while transport rates witnessed a 63% price rise.
What factors contributed to the disaster?
Apart from climate change which triggered torrential rains and glacier melt, structural inequality, poorly-formed policies, and imperial knowledge systems are also to blame, said University Lecturer at Cambridge Ayesha Siddiqi, who studies disasters, postcolonial states, and conflicts. Pakistan has been ranked ninth on NGO German Watch's Global Climate Risk Index, a ranking of nations judged most vulnerable to climate-related extreme weather.