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A third of Pakistan is underwater amid intense flooding that began in mid-June and has claimed over a thousand lives.
About 33 million people have been affected by the record levels of flooding, leaving over 1,000 people dead and causing an estimated $10 billion in damages. On Tuesday, the United Nations announced an appeal for $160 million in aid for the country.
“The Pakistani people are facing a monsoon on steroids,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a video posted to Twitter, explaining the disaster as “the relentless impact of epochal levels of rain and flooding.”
The Pakistani people are facing a monsoon on steroids. More than 1000 people have been killed – with millions more lives shattered.
This colossal crisis requires urgent, collective action to help the Government & people of Pakistan in their hour of need. pic.twitter.com/aVFFy4Irwa
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) August 30, 2022
Jens Laerke, a spokesperson for the UN Humanitarian Coordination Office (OCHA), said Tuesday that 500,000 people have been displaced and almost one million homes have been damaged. Damaged infrastructure, including 3,500 km of roads and 150 bridges, has hindered people’s ability to flee to safer ground. Many of the dead are children, she said.
Pakistan Climate Minister Sherry Rehman said on Monday that a third of the country is underwater, calling the floods “the monster monsoon of the decade.” She also attributed the disaster to climate change.
The United Nations’ $160 million aid plan is designed to reach “5.2 million of the most vulnerable people in the country,” with the objective of delivering lifesaving assistance, preventing disease outbreaks, and ensuring access to assistance and protection. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has also committed $30 million in aid.
The floodwaters in select areas of Pakistan started receding as the rain stopped three days ago, The Washington Post reported. After reviewing the damages caused by the floods, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said, “I can say without any fear of contradiction, this flood situation is probably the worst in the history of Pakistan.”
Intense flooding isn’t new to Pakistan. Historic floods crushed the country in 2010, killing almost 2,000 people in what became at the time the deadliest flood in its history.