UK charities launch urgent appeal as six million in dire need after Pakistan floods

World

The UK Disasters Emergency Committee has launched an appeal to “save and protect lives” as Pakistan deals with devastating floods.

More than 1,100 people have died and 33 million people are affected after monsoon rains and melting glaciers destroyed houses, infrastructure and crops.

The UN has appealed for $160m (£138m) to help alleviate an “unprecedented climate catastrophe” – and now 15 UK charities have come together to try to raise money.

“Our priority right now is to help save and protect lives as waters continue to rise,” said DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed.

“The scale of these floods has caused a shocking level of destruction – crops have been swept away and livestock killed across huge swathes of the country, which means hunger will follow.”

He acknowledged that many Britons are struggling with the cost of living but said any donation, no matter how small, could help save lives.

“We’re urging everyone to give whatever they can at what we appreciate is a difficult time for us all,” said Mr Saeed.

More on Pakistan

This UN map shows the scale of damage to houses across Pakistan as of 26 August. The boundaries and names on the map do not imply endoresement by the UN. Pic: UN OCHA
Image:
This UN map shows the scale of damage to houses across Pakistan as of 26 August

Satellite pictures reveal how large areas have been submerged over the last month, and the DEC said a third of the country is estimated to be underwater.

Sindh province, one of the worst hit, has had 466% more rain than the 30-year average in the latest quarter.

Helicopters have been rescuing people from rooftops and patches of dry land, and dropping off food in hard-to-reach areas.

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The situation could get worse, with Pakistan‘s disaster management authority saying major rivers the Indus and Kabul are at “high to very high flood” levels and are set to continue rising.

Read more:
Death and despair as Pakistanis flee homes amid devastating floods
Satellite images and maps show scale of disaster

Thousands of tents as well as food and medicine have already been arriving in the country – from China, Turkey and the UAE – but more is needed such is the scale of the disaster.

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Sky’s Saima Mohsin speaks to victims of the flooding

People cross a river on a suspended cradle, in the town of Bahrain, Pakistan, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022. The United Nations and Pakistan issued an appeal Tuesday for $160 million in emergency funding to help millions affected by record-breaking floods that have killed more than 1,150 people since mid-June. (AP Photo/Naveed Ali)
PIC:AP
Image:
People cross a river on a cradle in the town of Bahrain

Of the tens of millions affected, some 6.4 million are in dire need of aid, according to the World Health Organization.

More than two million acres of farming land have been flooded, said Pakistan’s disaster agency chief General Akhtar Nawaz.

“The rice crop has been washed away. Fruit and vegetables are gone,” added Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif after visiting northern Pakistan.

International agencies have called for a relaxation of food import restrictions from Pakistan’s neighbour and arch-rival India.

Pakistan ministers have blamed Western nations for creating the disaster through climate change and now have a “responsibility” to help.

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