Affected population may rise above 33m, Sherry fears

Published August 29, 2022
In this file photo, Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman addresses a press conference. —Photo Courtesy: Radio Pakistan
In this file photo, Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman addresses a press conference. —Photo Courtesy: Radio Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The government on Sunday warned that the number of population affected by floods may rise from 33 million as the length and breadth of the country continued to reel from the destruction caused by torrential rains and deluge.

Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman said the government, supported by the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies, is leading the humanitarian action.

Talking about the destruction, she said that as many as 1,033 people have lost their lives and more than 1,500 are injured.

“Kabul River is still at ‘very high flood level’ at Nowshera as more than 300,000 cusecs of water was crossing the river,” she said, adding that with 500,000 cusecs, water levels in River Indus at Taunsa, Sukkur and Chashma are at ‘high flood level’.

Calling the catastrophe ‘a perfect storm’, the minister added that as relentless rains battered the southern parts of the country, the floods in the Indus river ravaged the northern areas, Ms Rehman said.

Compensation for victims

The minister said that the economic affairs division and other ministries were working around the clock with about 35 multilateral and bilateral donors to assess needs and bridge gaps in relief efforts.

“Benazir Income Support Program had started rolling out Rs25,000 [for each affected family]. The relief tranches amount to Rs35 billion for the most vulnerable.”

Ms Rehman said the government is providing Rs1 million compensation to the next of kin who died and Rs 250,000 to the injured.

Rs 500,000 is being provided for fully destroyed houses and Rs 250,000 for partially destroyed houses, she added.

Briefing on the relief efforts, she said, as the rain has abated in some areas, the National Disaster Management Authority and Pakistan Army have amped up rescue efforts.

Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2022

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