A United Nations 'Flash Appeal' is to be launched simultaneously in Geneva and Islamabad on August 30 as unprecedented rains have caused devastating floods across Pakistan.
At a weekly news briefing, Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar on Friday confirmed that the UN was going to launch an international appeal for assistance to help people affected by massive flooding.
Initially, authorities in Pakistan were slow to react but the latest reports from the troubled regions indicate the damage caused by current floods is far greater than the super floods of 2010.
"It is a moment of great challenge and adversity for Pakistan, as unprecedented rains and floods have caused massive devastation in various parts of the country, especially in Sindh and Balochistan," the spokesperson said.
He said the government announced a state of emergency owing to huge loss of life, property, infrastructure, livestock and livelihoods. "Millions of people have been upended from their homes."
"Around 33 million people have been affected. Close to a thousand lives have been lost. Rescue and relief operations are facing difficulties due to washed away infrastructure," Asim told reporters.
He said the federal and provincial governments and various departments and agencies including the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and its provincial equivalent (PDMAs), civil administration and armed forces – were leading a coordinated humanitarian response, for which all available resources and capacities are being deployed and mobilized.
A National Emergency Operations Center is operating, and a National Relief Coordination Committee constituted by the prime minister is working under the chair of the minister for planning, he added.
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"The prime minister is himself steering the overall effort. On Friday morning Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met a group of Ambassadors to sensitize them to the scale of human tragedy."
The spokesperson said the scale of the disaster is so huge that it requires urgent cooperation and support from the international community.
"We are grateful to the UN, IFIs, and a host of our partners and friendly countries who are stepping forward with assistance. A UN Flash Appeal is also going to be launched on Tuesday 30 August simultaneously from Geneva and Islamabad."
Earlier this week, Climate-Change Minister Sherry Rehman revealed that since June, 903 people, including 326 children and 191 women, died in various incidents of monsoon rains and floods. She added that 1,293 people were injured. The data shared by the minister suggested that most of the deaths and injuries occurred in Sindh and Balochistan.
Meanwhile, the Sindh government had declared 23 districts of the province calamity-hit due to the devastation caused by extraordinary monsoon rains followed by devastating floods.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had appealed to the nation to donate for supporting the relief and rehabilitation measures of the people and infrastructure in flood-hit areas, where hundreds have been killed and thousands rendered homeless.
The premier said the government was distributing Rs37.2 billion as cash relief among the flood-stricken people. Rs5 billion have immediately been released to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to accelerate the rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts.
وزیراعظم فلڈ ریلیف اکاؤنٹ 2022 میں عطیات جمع کرانے کی تفصیلات— Marriyum Aurangzeb (@Marriyum_A) August 24, 2022
سٹیٹ بینک آف پاکستان نے تمام کمرشل بینکوں کے ذریعے عطیات جمع کرنے کا سرکلر جاری کر دیا ہے اندرون و بیرون ملک پاکستانی عطیات اس اکاؤنٹ میں جمع کرا سکتے ہیں بارشوں کا 30 سال کا ریکارڈ ٹوٹ گیا ہے #PMReliefFund
Further, the Pakistan Army has launched a massive rescue and relief operation in the areas affected by torrential rains and flash floods.