The worst floods in the nation’s recorded history have washed over Pakistan after unprecedented and unrelenting monsoonal rainfall. Over 14 million people have been affected by the floods and the death toll has risen to over 1,600. Such unfathomable numbers and nationwide destruction represents a humanitarian disaster that exceeds the devastation and loss of the 2004 tsunami and is going to require the support, aid and commitment of the international community to administer relief both during and after the floods subside. Here’s some more information on the disaster and what you can do to help.
- What and who has been affected? Over 14 million people have been affected by the floods, but the impact doesn’t stop there. Important infrastructure (schools, bridges and government buildings, for example), 1.5 million acres of farmland and crops, major road and rail arteries and several hundred thousand homes have been destroyed.
- Where are the people? At the present times, displaced Pakistanis are crowding into relief camps and shelters or setting up their own makeshift settlements on the side of the road in an attempt to save what livestock and possessions they can. Relief is being administered by aid organisations running these shelters and supplying provisions to the Pakistani people in the form of food, refuge, hygiene and household kits. There are fears, however, that with the heavy overcrowding of shelters and camps, the spread of disease is imminent.
- What still needs to be done? Pakistan’s road to recovery will be long and difficult. With such widespread devastation, the World Food Programme estimates that four million people will require food aid for the next three months. Relief and aid will need to come in the form of essential and relief supplies, but also in the form of long-term reconstruction efforts.
- What can I do? If you want to help the relief and aid efforts in Pakistan, then give generously. Donate money to Pakistan-dedicated relief funds, such as ActionAid’s Pakistan Flood Donation, which will go directly to their immediate relief activities and long-term reconstruction plans. Any charity donation, however, to aid organisations involved in relief and reconstruction efforts will help the situation of the Pakistani people.
The devastation, destruction and humanitarian disaster that is the recent Pakistani floods requires your support. What will you do to help?