The United Nations on Tuesday (August 30) issued a $160 million flash appeal to help Pakistan deal with devastating floods that have killed more than 1,100 people, destroyed infrastructure and crops and affected 33 million people.
Initial estimates put the damage from the floods at more than $10 billion, the government said, adding that the world has a responsibility to help the South Asian country deal with the effects of man-made climate change.
“Pakistan is mired in suffering,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a video message to the launch of the appeal in Islamabad and Geneva.
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“Pakistani people face monsoon on steroids: continuing effects of deadly levels of rains and floods.”
With environmental disasters destroying the homes, schools and health facilities of millions and destroying their livelihoods, the scale of the needs requires the world’s collective and priority attention, he said.
Heavy rains have caused flooding that has brought down mountains in the north, destroyed buildings and bridges, and washed away roads and crops.
Large volumes of water flow into the Indus River, which flows from its northern peaks in the center of the country to the southern plains, causing flooding along its length.
Guterres said the $160 million he hopes to raise from the appeal will provide food, water, sanitation, emergency education and health care to 5.2 million people.
Pakistan estimates that the floods have affected more than 33 million people or more than 15 percent of its population of 220 million.
Guterres called for an immediate response to Pakistan’s request for help from the international community.
“Let us move forward in solidarity and stand with the people of Pakistan in their hour of need,” he said.