Pakistan floods: Hundreds of children among 1,000 people killed
The country’s National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) added that 119 people were killed and 71 injured in the past 24 hours alone.
At least 33 million people have been affected by the disaster, Pakistan’s climate change minister Shirley Lehman said on Thursday. She called the floods “unprecedented” and “the worst humanitarian disaster in a decade”.
“Pakistan is going through its eighth monsoon cycle, and the country usually has only three to four cycles of rainfall,” Rahman said. “The percentage of super torrents is staggering.”
She particularly highlighted the impact on the south of the country, adding that the “biggest” relief effort was underway.
The deployment of the army was authorized to assist rescue and relief operations in flood-hit areas, the interior ministry said in a statement on Friday.
The ministry said the army would assist Pakistan’s four provincial governments, including the worst-hit southwestern province of Balochistan.
The ministry said the exact number of troops and where and when they will be deployed will be determined by the provinces and governments.
Meanwhile, flood control centres are being set up across the country to assist in the collection, transport and distribution of flood control supplies to victims, the Pakistan Armed Forces said.
Army units are also helping to evacuate people to safer places, providing shelter, meals and medical care for those affected by the floods, the armed forces said.
Lehman said the southern province of Sindh, which has been hit hard by floods, has requested 1 million tents, while nearby Balochistan — which is largely tied to power, gas and internet outages — has requested 100,000 tents.
“Pakistan’s priority right now is this massive climate-induced humanitarian catastrophe,” Lehman said, urging international assistance given Pakistan’s “limited” resources.
Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif briefed international diplomats on the crisis on Friday, saying his country — which is on the frontlines of climate change despite its relatively small carbon footprint — must focus its recovery on improving climate resilience superior.
Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal told Reuters separately that 30 million people, or about 15 percent of the South Asian country’s population, were affected.
The monsoon rains have affected some 3 million people in Pakistan, with 184,000 displaced to relief camps across the country, the UN agency’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in an update on Thursday.
Cash-strapped Pakistan will face funding and reconstruction challenges as it has to cut spending to ensure the International Monetary Fund approves the release of much-needed bailouts.
In the past 24 hours, 150 kilometers (about 93 miles) of roads across the country were damaged, and more than 82,000 homes were partially or completely damaged, the NDMA said in a report.
More than 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) of roads, 130 bridges and 495,000 homes have been damaged since the start of the monsoon in mid-June, according to the NDMA’s latest situation report, which echoes figures in the OHCA report.