UN hikes Pakistan aid appeal five-fold amid ‘second wave of death and destruction’

Published October 3, 2022
<p>Women displaced because of the floods wait to receive food handouts while taking refuge in a camp, in Sehwan, Pakistan, September 30, 2022. — Reuters</p>

Women displaced because of the floods wait to receive food handouts while taking refuge in a camp, in Sehwan, Pakistan, September 30, 2022. — Reuters

The United Nations has revised up its humanitarian appeal for Pakistan five-fold to $816 million from $160 million as it seeks to control a surge in water-borne diseases following the country’s worst floods in decades, an official said on Monday.

Nearly 1,700 people have been killed in floods caused by heavy monsoon rains and melting glaciers in a crisis that the government and the U.N. have blamed on climate change.

“We are now entering a second wave of death and destruction,” Julien Harneis, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Pakistan said at a Geneva briefing.

“There will be an increase in child morbidity and it will be pretty terrible unless we act rapidly to support the government in increasing the provision of health, nutrition and water and sanitation services across the affected areas,” he said.

Meanwhile, a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today said that an up-scaled flash appeal would be jointly launched by the Government of Pakistan and UN on October 4 in Geneva.

“Ministerial level participation from the Government of Pakistan will include Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman, attending the event in person in Geneva, and Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar participating virtually from Islamabad.”

The statement reads that UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths and Director General World Health Organization Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will represent the UN, along with Resident Coordinator in Pakistan Julien Harneis.

The meeting will be attended by UN Member States as well as various UN agencies and humanitarian organizations working in the area of disaster relief.

The Floods Response Plan, the ministry said, has been prepared in close coordination between the government and UN.

“It focuses on providing necessary assistance to the vulnerable people affected by the unprecedented floods. It complements the government’s overall response to the recent climate-induced floods in Pakistan,” the press release added.

UN launched a flash appeal on Aug 30 for $160m assistance for flood relief support, but the grant was not considered enough in the face of the unprecedented devastation.

The government has estimated that its economic growth rate would fall massively to 2pc during the ongoing fiscal year, against 5pc budgeted target, owing to devastation caused by heavy rainfalls and flash floods, which affected more than 33m people, mostly in Sindh and Balochistan.

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