Islamabad: Tens of millions of people across Pakistan were battling the worst monsoon floods in a decade, with countless homes washed away, vital farmland destroyed and the country’s main river threatening to burst its banks.
Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman said a third of the nation was under water, creating a “crisis of unimaginable proportions”.
Officials say 1,162 people have died since June when the seasonal rains began, but the final toll could be higher as hundreds of villages in the mountainous north have been cut off after flood-swollen rivers washed away roads and bridges.
More than 33 million people in some 116 of Pakistan’s 160 administrative districts have been affected by the floods triggered by incessant monsoon rain since mid-June, with at least 72 districts being declared disaster areas.
Hundreds of thousands of people are currently living without food, clean water, shelter, and basic medicines. The floods inundated over 2 million acres of agricultural land, destroying crops of cotton, rice, dates, tomato, and other vegetables.
According to Pakistan’s planning minister, the flooding has already inflicted around $10 billion in losses to the economy, which has long been struggling due to high current account and fiscal deficits and chronic energy shortages.
NRI philanthropist provides flood relief
Extending a helping hand towards the flood-affected people in Pakistan, Dubai-based NRI philanthropist S P S Oberoi has provided relief of 30,000 pounds.
Oberoi informed that Pakistan Punjab’s Governor Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar had made an urgent appeal to provide relief to the flood victims in Pakistan.
In his appeal, Sarwar stated that “we are targeting to provide 100,000 ration packs to the displaced families hit by the catastrophic and devastating floods”.
Reacting to Sarwar’s appeal, Oberoi said he had provided 30,000 pounds for one month’s ration for 1,001 flood-affected families in Pakistan, adding that the ration would be distributed through the Sarwar Foundation.