Speaking at the COP27 climate conference today alongside U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Pakistan’s Prime Minister requested support from the global community to aid his country’s recovery from their worst flood in history. Beginning on June 14, the monsoon rains submerged one-third of the country by the end of August, killing at least 1,500 civilians and displacing 32 million people. Climate change played a major role in the heavier rains, melting glaciers, and severe heat wave that led to this disaster.
“Millions of people are going into winter without shelter or livelihood,” Prime Minister Shebhaz Sharif said. “Women and children are still looking to us to protect their basic needs.”
Pakistan has mobilized every available resource toward their relief effort, but it is not enough. While Sharif hopes to receive major financing from international institutions like the World Bank, those processes are slow and cumbersome. Individuals can rally right now for the people of Pakistan by donating to organizations that are providing relief on the ground.
Humanity for Relief and Development is one of those organizations! We have expanded our Mercy Bakery and Mercy Kitchen program to Kharian, Pakistan, and are raising funds to open a mobile Mercy Bakery & Kitchen that will deliver aid closer to the flood victims. If you donate to the cause here, 100% of your money will be legally required to be spent on food aid for Pakistanis.
Pakistan Flood Damage
The damage from the floods has been extensive. The rains have destroyed more than four million acres of farms, including wheat that was expected to feed 65 million people across South Asia. With an estimated 900,000 livestock killed, tens of thousands of people who depended on these animals for their livelihood now find themselves in dire need. The floods have also damaged or destroyed millions of acres of forest and aquatic ecosystems, which will release large quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and exacerbate weather conditions in the future. The flooding has compromised Pakistan’s ability to generate electricity, threatening the country’s ability to sustain its industrial base. Ironically, the heavy rains have contaminated Pakistan’s water sources and made the procurement of potable water a major problem.
COP27: Climate Change
The impacts of climate change are a global challenge, but they do not affect all countries and all people equally. Some populations are more vulnerable than others, and the countries in the Global South, which have emitted the least amount of greenhouse gases, suffer the most from climate change. We need a new legal framework that will hold the countries with the most greenhouse gas emissions proportionately responsible for funding climate adaptation and mitigations projects in other countries.
The UN World Food Program has been providing emergency food assistance to people affected by the floods. They have distributed emergency food rations and seeds to farmers and livestock owners, as well as livestock feed and veterinary medicines to livestock owners.
Volunteering with reputable organizations that are already on the ground in Pakistan can be a rewarding way to contribute. Organizations like Mercy Corps and International Federation of Red Cross have volunteers who are already working with the flood victims.
The flooding in Pakistan has created one of the worst humanitarian crises the country has faced in decades, and as climate change progresses, future weather events will only get worse. The government and humanitarian organizations have launched a massive relief operation to help millions of people in need, but much more assistance is needed. The international community must do all it can to support Pakistan as it responds to this disaster. Time is of the essence and action must be swift if lives are to be saved.