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Pakistan has asked the international community for its support in the face of heavy rains that swept the country since June. As a result, more than a thousand people were killed. The country’s climate change minister said it was a “serious climate catastrophe”.
Floods caused by torrential rains washed away entire villages and crops. 180,000 people were evacuated from Charsadda district in northwest Pakistan and another 150,000 from nearby Nowshra district.
The evacuees are housed in camps set up by the government. In total, according to the authorities, 33 million people were affected by the floods, which is about 15 percent of the population.
“We are now on the front lines of extreme weather events,” the climate change minister said in a video clip on Twitter. “It’s a continuous process of heat waves, wildfires, flash floods, melting glaciers and now a brutal monsoon.”
Flood photographed from space:
According to Foreign Minister Bhutto Zardari, the devastation is unprecedented and a natural disaster will have economic consequences. The rain destroyed nearly 300,000 homes. Many roads are impassable and electricity is cut off in many places.
“I’ve never seen such destruction before,” he told Reuters news agency. “It’s hard to find words for that. It’s overwhelming.” According to the minister, a large part of the crops in Pakistan have been damaged by rainfall.
“Of course, this also has economic consequences,” he says. Bhutto Zardari says Pakistan will appeal to UN member states for support this week.
IMF package support
The damage is likely to be in the billions. The Pakistani cabinet also hopes that international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund will take natural disasters into account. The International Monetary Fund will this week decide on a $1.2 billion aid package for Pakistan, as part of an economic support program agreed in 2019.
“Although Pakistan makes a negligible contribution to the overall carbon footprint, we have been repeatedly devastated by climatic disasters like this,” Bhutto-Zardari said. “We have to adapt within our limited means, however we can, to live in these new conditions.”
The damage is clearly visible from the air:
Severe floods wreak havoc in Pakistan
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