Fears grow for Pakistani communities that could be cut off from flood relief efforts

Fears grow for Pakistani communities that could be cut off from flood relief efforts
Pakistan has called in the military to help with flood relief efforts, but there are growing fears that some communities will not receive aid amid destruction of crucial infrastructure.
3 min read
30 August, 2022
Some of Pakistan's communities might be left out of flood relief efforts [Getty]

There are growing fears that Pakistanis living in communities that have been cut off by the devastating floods will be excluded from military-led relief efforts. 

The floods have destroyed several major roads and in some cases left it difficult for helicopters to find a place to land to deliver aid.

'How is this not catastrophic?'

Sherry Rehman, Pakistan's top climate official, says helicopters are struggling to find dry land to deliver goods to people left stranded by the floods pic.twitter.com/GLZB9WUZLZ

— Sky News (@SkyNews) August 30, 2022

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif described the unusually strong rainfall as “unprecedented in the last 30 years,” adding that “I have never seen devastation in my life.” He promised that his government “won’t disappoint” the flood victims, according to The Guardian.

Sharif has requested the help of the international community, while the UN Secretary-General has appealed for $160 million to help Pakistan with relief efforts.  

Pakistan's devastating floods:

- 1350 people killed
- 50M people displaced
- 900K livestock deaths
- 1M houses washed away
- 40+ reservoirs breached
- 220+ bridges collapsed
- 90% cropped damaged
- $10B loss to economy
- 1/3 country underwater

Source - PDMA / NDMA pic.twitter.com/TG6jnL8zZQ

— South Asia Index (@SouthAsiaIndex) August 29, 2022

Pakistan has lost at least $10 billion dollars after the floods, according to the country’s planning minister Ahsan Iqbal. “I think it is going to be huge. So far, [a] very early, preliminary estimate is that it is big, it is higher than $10bn,” he told Reuters.

Pakistan’s top climate official Sherry Rehman said that a third of the country was now underwater, adding on Monday that the death toll had risen from 1,033 to 1,136 people; the figure is likely to rise over the next few days. 

More than three-fourths of Balochistan, Pakistan’s most impoverished province, has been damaged by floods, while neighbouring Sindh has also sustained a lot of damage. 

It is frankly terrifying that one third of Pakistan is underwater, China is experiencing its worst drought in record, as are the olive-producing regions of southern Spain, and we’re currently only at 1.2C of warming.

— Donna Lu (@donnadlu) August 29, 2022

Pakistan is one of the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Earlier this year, an unpredictable heatwave scorched parts of northern Pakistan, while weeks later, devastating floods left thousands of homes underwater. 

Pakistan has more glaciers than anywhere else in the world outside the polar regions. On Sunday, Rehman said that climate change was causing the glaciers in the northern mountains to melt faster than normal, aggravating the effects of the heavy monsoons.