Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Pakistan floods: Hundreds of children killed out of 1,000


The country’s National Disaster Management Authority added that 119 people died and 71 were injured in the past 24 hours alone.

At least 33 million people have been affected by the disaster, Pakistani Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman said on Thursday. She described the floods as “unprecedented” and “the worst humanitarian catastrophe of this decade”.

“Pakistan is going through its eighth cycle of monsoons while the country usually experiences only three to four cycles of rain,” said Fazlur Rahman. “The torrential torrent percentages are horrific.”

She particularly highlighted the impact on the south of the country, adding that “maximum” relief efforts are underway.

The country’s Interior Ministry said in a statement on Friday that the army’s deployment was mandated to assist in relief and rescue operations in the flood-stricken areas.

The ministry said the troops will assist the four regional governments of Pakistan, including the hardest-hit southwestern Balochistan province.

The ministry said the exact number of troops, as well as the place and time of their deployment, would be determined between the provinces and the government.

On the other hand, flood relief centers have been set up in different parts of the country to help collect, transport and distribute flood relief items to the victims, said the Pakistan Armed Forces.

The armed forces said that the army forces are also helping people to evacuate to safer places and providing shelter, meals and medical care for those affected by the floods.

Rahman said the southern province of Sindh, which has been hit hard by the floods, requested 1 million tents, while the nearby province of Balochistan – largely cut off from electricity, gas and internet – asked for 100,000 tents.

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“Pakistan’s priority at the moment is this climate-induced humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions,” Rehman said, urging the international community to provide assistance given Pakistan’s “limited” resources.

A villager uses cribs to save usable items after rescuing his flooded home in Jafarabad.

On Friday, Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif briefed international diplomats on the crisis, noting that his country – on the front line of climate change despite its relatively small carbon footprint – should focus its rehabilitation toward more resilience in the face of climate change.

30 million people have been affected, Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal told Reuters separately, a figure that would represent about 15% of the South Asian country’s population.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in an update Thursday that the monsoon rains have affected nearly 3 million people in Pakistan, of whom 184,000 have been displaced to relief camps across the country.

More than 900 people killed by monsoon rains and floods in Pakistan, including 326 children

The financing and reconstruction efforts will present a challenge to cash-strapped Pakistan, which has to cut spending to ensure the IMF agrees to release much-needed bailout funds.

Over the past 24 hours, 150 kilometers (about 93 miles) of roads were damaged across the country and more than 82,000 homes were partially or completely damaged, the National Disaster Management Administration said in a report.

Since mid-June, when the monsoon began, more than 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) of roads, 130 bridges and 495,000 homes have been damaged, according to the NDMA’s latest situation report, and figures echoed in the OHCA report.