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UN to launch fresh appeal for Pakistan flood victims

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UN to launch fresh appeal for Pakistan flood victims
A boy displaced because of the floods, sleeps as his family takes refuge in a school, following rains and floods during the monsoon season, in Karachi, Pakistan September 23, 2022. —Reuters
A boy displaced because of the floods, sleeps as his family takes refuge in a school, following rains and floods during the monsoon season, in Karachi, Pakistan September 23, 2022. —Reuters
  • UN official says Pakistan situation worrying.
  • Children facing hunger in flood-affected areas.
  • UN urges World Bank, Asian Development Bank to come forward.

ISLAMABAD: The United Nations will launch a fresh appeal next week for Pakistan flood victims, saying its initial $160 million appeal was insufficient to meet the country’s needs.

Devastating floods engulfed large swathes of Pakistan this month, killing more than 1,600 people and devastating the country’s infrastructure to cause damages estimated nearly at $30 billion.

Speaking at a ceremony in Islamabad, Julien Frederic Morcom-Harneis, the United Nations resident coordinator and humanitarian coordinator in Pakistan, said that the situation in flood-affected areas is worrying where waterborne diseases and skin infections are increasing.

“Children are facing hunger. Clean drinking water is not available besides health and food problems in these areas.”

Julien Harneis said that the UN appeal of $160 million appeal was insufficient and the world body will launch a new one on October 4 in Geneva which will be for the next six months.

“We will appeal for life-saving drugs along with our partners. The reconstruction and rehabilitation phase will come later.”

He urged the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and international organisations to come forward and help in rehabilitation work.

The UN official said that they are working with the Sindh and Balochistan lawmakers in flood-ravaged areas.

As many as 1,678 people have been killed in flash floods, including more than 600 children and 300 women, according to the country’s disaster management agency.

Apart from the lives lost, more than two million people’s houses have been destroyed, and over one million livestock — a major source of income for rural households — have been lost in the floods.

Non-governmental organisations are working in flood-affected areas, while aid from the international community is also trickling in gradually, but it is yet to cushion the catastrophe’s damage.

The floods have also raised questions on whether Pakistan will be able to pay its debts on time, with the local currency weakening against the dollar and forex reserves diminishing over time.

In this regard, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari have sought climate justice to compensate for the destruction as the disaster was climate-induced — and Pakistan produces one of the lowest carbon emissions in the world.

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