UK to provide ‘urgent support’ of £1.5m for flood relief efforts

This is a time to stand together, says British High Commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner

News Desk August 27, 2022
A woman and chidren sit outside their tent after taking refuge on a higher ground following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Jamshoro, Pakistan August 26, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

As floods triggered by historic monsoon rains wreak havoc across the country, the United Kingdom has announced that it will provide up to £1.5 million for relief efforts.

"The UK is providing urgent support to Pakistan after flooding in the south of the country killed at least 900 people. Extreme monsoon rainfall has affected millions, with at least 700,000 homes destroyed," the UK government said in a statement on Saturday.

It said that the UN is carrying out a needs assessment over the weekend, and a UN appeal is expected to be launched on Tuesday.

The statement said that the UK also provides assistance to Pakistan through international organisations working directly with the victims of the disaster, including the World Bank and the United Nations.

Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South and Central Asia, North Africa, UN and the Commonwealth and the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, said: "The floods in Pakistan have devastated local communities and the UK is providing up to £1.5 million to help the immediate aftermath. We are witnessing the catastrophe that climate change can cause and how it impacts the most vulnerable."

"My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and their families, and I would like to pay tribute to everyone involved in the relief efforts. We are also working directly with the Pakistan authorities to establish what further assistance and support they require. The UK stands with the people of Pakistan during this time of need," he added.

According to the statement, the £1.5 million of humanitarian funding is an allocation from existing support to Pakistan and will go to the relief efforts in the areas worst-hit by the flooding.

"The UK pledged over £55m to partner with Pakistan to fight climate change, manage water more sustainably and unlock climate investment in November 2021 during the COP26 Conference in Glasgow," it added.

The Global Climate Risk Index report notes that Pakistan has reported 502 deaths and a loss of $3.772 billion as a result of 173 extreme weather events between 2000 and 2019.

Pakistan is among the most disaster-prone countries in South Asia and has suffered an estimated US$18 billion in damages due to disasters during the past decade.

This has included: recurrent floods; earthquakes; droughts; and urban shocks (such as heatwaves and dengue). Overall, in Pakistan, 25% of households (49 million people) are estimated to be moderately or severely food insecure, whereas 10% of the households (21 million people) are classified as severely food insecure. The Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index suggests that 36.43 million people are chronically vulnerable.

Also read: Won’t rest until each one of flood affected is rehabilitated: COAS

Pakistan is the eighth most at-risk country globally from the impacts of Climate Change (an improvement from fifth most at-risk country in 2020). This year, Pakistan has and is experiencing consecutive extreme climactic events.

The country moved directly from winter into summer temperatures with a number of extreme heat waves, causing rapid glacial flash floods and forest fires.

During the 2020 floods in Pakistan, the UK announced a £800,000 aid package through the National Disaster Consortium (NDC) and provided immediate relief in rural Sindh where many had lost their homes.

It also provided life-saving clean water, sanitation, and shelter to over 55,000 vulnerable people in Pakistan to help them recover from the devastating floods.

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