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United Nations Launches $160mn Response Plan as Floods Devastate Pakistan

Over 1,100 people have died, including over 350 children, more than 1,600 have been injured, over 2,87,000 houses have been fully and partially destroyed, over 7,35,000 livestock have died, and 2 million acres of crops have been harmed, in addition to severe damage to communications infrastructure.

Shivam Dwivedi
Flood in Pakistan
Flood in Pakistan

The "2022 Pakistan Floods Response Plan (FRP)" was jointly launched on Tuesday in Islamabad and Geneva by the Government of Pakistan and the United Nations, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

The FRP is being launched in the aftermath of devastating rains, floods, and landslides that have affected more than 33 million people across Pakistan, according to OCHA.

Over 1,100 people have died, including over 350 children, more than 1,600 have been injured, over 2,87,000 houses have been fully and partially destroyed, over 7,35,000 livestock have died, and 2 million acres of crops have been harmed, in addition to severe damage to communications infrastructure.

The FRP focuses on the needs of 5.2 million people, with USD 160.3 million in life-saving response activities covering food security, agricultural and livestock assistance, shelter and non-food items, nutrition programmes, primary health services, protection, water and sanitation, women's health, and education support, as well as shelter for displaced people.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari delivered the keynote address, saying, "The Government's efforts are being supported by the Pakistani nation, with people, civil society, and humanitarian organisations stepping forward in a big way to complement the relief work with our characteristic generosity and philanthropic spirit." The Prime Minister's Flood Relief Fund 2022 has also been established to allow people from across the country and around the world to contribute to flood relief efforts."

"This Appeal is expected to address only a portion of the overall requirements and will thus complement the broader effort," he FM added. The FM emphasised that the international community's "unconditional support and solidarity with the people of Pakistan at this time would go a long way toward alleviating their suffering and assisting in the reconstruction of their lives and communities."

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated in a video message that "the people of Pakistan are facing the unrelenting impact of heavy rains and flooding - the worst in decades." "The Government of Pakistan's response has been swift," the UNSG added. It has made available national funds, including immediate cash relief. However, the magnitude of the needs is growing like the flood waters. It necessitates the world's undivided and prioritised attention."

"Pakistan, despite being a negligible contributor to the overall carbon footprint, is still among the top ten countries that are vulnerable to climate change, and with extreme weather events like the heat waves, forest fires, multiple glacial lake-outburst-floods, and now these disastrous monsoon floods," said Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal.

"This super flood is driven by climate change - the causes are international, so the response calls for international solidarity," said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Julien Harneis.

"Across Pakistan, I have seen government workers, ordinary people, out in the rain and water, saving lives and giving what they have to those who have lost everything," he continued. The international community must step up and support the people of Pakistan. This is the absolute bare minimum we require from the international community in terms of life-saving assistance and services. Pakistan's people deserve our support."

The Diplomatic Corps from Islamabad and Geneva, heads of UN agencies in Pakistan, representatives from international organisations, IFIs, civil society, and the media all attended the launch event.

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