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Pakistan to launch UN ‘Flash Appeal’ as floods rage across the country

This comes as the Shehbaz Sharif government on Thursday officially declared a “national emergency” after rains and flood-related incidents killed over 900 and left at least 30 million without shelter.

ANI | Islamabad |

Pakistan is set to launch the UN ‘Flash Appeal’ for flood victims in Geneva and Islamabad on August 30 as unprecedented rains have caused devastating floods across the country.

This comes as the Shehbaz Sharif government on Thursday officially declared a “national emergency” after rains and flood-related incidents killed over 900 and left at least 30 million without shelter.

“It is a moment of great challenge and adversity for Pakistan, as unprecedented rains and floods have caused massive devastation in various parts of the country, especially in Sindh and Balochistan,” the Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said on Friday as he confirmed that the UN was going to launch an international appeal for aid to help people affected by flooding.

“Around 33 million people have been affected. Close to a thousand lives have been lost. Rescue and relief operations are facing difficulties due to washed away infrastructure,” Asim was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune newspaper.

The Pakistani spokesperson said the scale of the disaster is so huge that it requires urgent cooperation and support from the international community.

“We are grateful to the UN, IFIs, and a host of our partners and friendly countries who are stepping forward with assistance. A UN Flash Appeal is also going to be launched on Tuesday 30 August simultaneously from Geneva and Islamabad,” he said.

The floods have caused widespread destruction across the country.
Millions of children, women, and men have been affected since mid-June, and over a thousand lives have been lost. People have lost their homes, livestock, harvest-ready crops, and their only sources of livelihood. Infrastructure across the country has suffered massive damage, and roads, bridges, and buildings have been washed away.

The government is conducting search and rescue operations, providing relief supplies and preparing a cash assistance program. The UN, and non-government organizations, have been working alongside the government to provide support.

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated USD 3 million to UN agencies and partners in Pakistan to respond to the floods. “This will be used for health, nutrition, food security, and water and sanitation services in flood-affected areas, focusing on the most vulnerable,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

The humanitarian situation in Pakistan has deteriorated further over the past two weeks as heavy rains continue to cause flooding, and landslides resulting in displacement and damage across the country.

Sixty-six districts have been officially declared to be ‘calamity hit’ by the Government of Pakistan – 31 in Balochistan, 23 in Sindh, nine in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and three in Punjab.

The situation remains dynamic, and many more districts have been affected; the number of calamity-declared districts is expected to rise as rains continue to fall.