Angelina Jolie Using Her Star Power to Help Pakistan Flood Victims

Beautiful Hollywood star Angelina Jolie is known for her international humanitarian work as the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador. A winner of multiple awards including one Oscar and three Golden Globes, she is among the highest paid actors in the world. Jolie is currently visiting Pakistan to bring global attention to the immense suffering caused by devastating floods in the country, particularly in its southern Sindh province.  

Angelina Jolie

Pakistan is dealing with the aftermath of the worst floods in the country's history. Over 1500 Pakistanis are dead. About 33 million people in two southern provinces are homeless. Sindh is inundated with 784% of normal rainfall so far this year. Balochistan has seen 522% of average rainfall. Both provinces suffered their worst ever heatwave prior to this unprecedented deluge. Nearly a million livestock have been lost, over two million acres of farmland is underwater and 90% of the crops in Sindh and Balochistan have been damaged. 

UN Sec Gen Antonio Guterres

The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has described the unprecedented flooding in Pakistan as “a monsoon on steroids" that has created a massive humanitarian crisis. The country can not deal with it alone. He said Pakistan "is drowning not only in floodwater, but in debt.” Mr. Guterres has called for debt relief for developing nations such as Pakistan. “The Debt Service Suspen­sion Initiative should be ex­tended – and enhanced. We also need an effective mechanism of debt relief for developing coun­tries – including middle income countries – in debt distress. Creditors should consider debt reduction mechanisms such as debt-climate adaptation swaps.

It will take hundreds of millions of dollars to provide immediate relief to 33 million people, followed by tens of billions of dollars in assistance to rebuild the lives and livelihoods and the infrastructure destroyed by this catastrophe. Pakistan's gross capital formation is only 15% of its GDP. Among the world’s top 20 economies by population, only Egypt has a lower rate of gross capital formation than Pakistan, according to Bloomberg. It is time for the rich industrialized world to help developing nations such as Pakistan to deal with the massive impact of climate change. 

Low Gross Capital Formation in Pakistan. Source: Bloomberg 

Pakistan's population is about 2.6% of the world population. The nation has contributed just 0.28% of the cumulative global carbon emissions since 1750. It lacks the resources needed to deal with the consequences of this man-made disaster. The Industrial Revolution in Europe and the United States was fueled mainly by fossil fuels such as coal and oil believed to be responsible for climate change. 

Cumulative CO2 Emissions Since 1750. Source: Our World in Data

Below is a map from Professor Jason Hickel showing that the countries in the global north are the biggest polluters while those in the global south are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.  

Climate Injustice: Low Emitters Global South vs Big Polluters in Industrial North. Source: Prof J. Hickel

After viewing the flood disaster in Pakistan Jolie said: "I have never seen anything like this. I have been to Pakistan many times. I came because of the generosity that Pakistani people have shown to the people of Afghanistan. Oftentimes those who have less give more than so many other countries. The climate change is not only real but it's here.  This is a wakeup call to the world about where we are. The countries that have not done as much damage to climate are the ones that are bearing the brunt. The needs in Pakistan are now so great. I appeal to the world to help. Many of the victims here will not make it without a lot of help."

Here are some more excerpts from her press conference in Pakistan: 

"I feel overwhelmed but I feel it is not fair to say that since I am not living this." 

"I've never seen anything like this and I have been to Pakistan many times"

"I came  because of  the generosity that Pakistani people have shown to the people of Afghanistan over the years...My heart is very very much with people at this time.”

"It is often seen that the countries that don't have as much give more than so many other countries"

"I am absolutely with you in pushing the international community to do more. I feel that we say that often... we speak of aid appeals, relief and support but this is something very, very different"

"Climate change is not only real and it is not only coming, it is here,"

"I've seen the lives that were saved but I've also seen... I've been speaking to people and thinking that if enough aid doesn't come they won't be here in next few weeks... they won't make it"

"Even if they make it next few months with the winter coming and the destruction of the crops and the hard reality ... I am overwhelmed but I feel it is not fair to say that because I am not living this so I simply try to speak out for help. I can't even imagine what it feels like to be there"

"I will return and continue to return and my heart is very, very much with the people at this time"

https://youtu.be/tsHpbzF_Olg



Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Water begins receding in Pakistan’s worst flood-hit south | PBS NewsHour

(But the massive effort and investment for recovery and rebuilding remains)

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/water-begins-receding-in-pakistans-worst-flood-hit-south

Floodwaters are receding in Pakistan’s worst-hit southern Sindh province, officials said Friday, a potentially bright sign in an ongoing crisis that has left hundreds of thousands of people homeless in the impoverished South Asian country.

The Indus River, which remained swollen until earlier this month, was now rushing at “normal” levels towards the Arabian Sea, according to Mohammad Irfan, an irrigation official in hard-hit Sindh. The water level in the past 48 hours receded as much as three feet in some of the inundated areas nearby, including the Khairpur and Johi towns, where waist-high water damaged crops and homes earlier this month.

Riaz Haq said…
Saeed Shah
@SaeedShah
Developing countries want funds to deal with climate disasters they say are caused by greenhouse gas emissions of rich countries. The bill could run to trillions. The scale of floods in Pakistan has made the country a leading voice in this demand for help https://www.wsj.com/articles/pakistan-leads-push-for-funding-to-counter-damage-from-climate-change-11663936447

https://twitter.com/SaeedShah/status/1573290834761420802?s=20&t=qPV5OMLbkkKUvoFNnOWXXQ

-------------


After suffering catastrophic floods, Pakistan is leading a push with other developing nations to establish international funding for natural disasters that they say are caused by climate change, in an effort to spur momentum around the issue ahead of climate negotiations later this year.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in a speech Friday at the United Nations General Assembly, is set to point to record rainfall that has inundated parts of Pakistan in recent weeks to make the case that those countries who have contributed least to causing global warming are suffering the most from the impacts of climate change, aides say. Pakistan produces around 1% of global greenhouse-gas emissions but estimates that the floods will cost it more than $30 billion in lost economic growth and rebuilding costs.

“We have become the postcard from the edge of the climate precipice,” said Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s climate minister, adding that the floods have set the country’s development back by a decade. “The bargain between the global South and the North is broken.”

There will likely be a clash over the issue at the next climate summit, COP27, to be held in Egypt in November, where officials from developing nations say they will seek again to get a general agreement on setting up a fund for “loss and damage” from wealthier nations.

At the last climate summit, in Glasgow, a proposal from developing countries for a dedicated funding facility under that umbrella went nowhere. European Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans said it wasn’t possible to agree to a new fund without first working out what it would do and who would fund it.

“Rather than accepting what could have been an empty symbolic gesture, the EU considers that it may better help affected communities by scaling up the work of institutions that they already turn to when facing impacts in the real world,” Mr. Timmermans said in a statement earlier this year.



This year, Pakistan will try to harness global attention on the floods to shift the debate. It will be leading the biggest grouping of countries at the gathering, the G-77 bloc of more than 130 developing countries plus China, giving Islamabad an important role in coordinating the drive for disaster recovery and rebuilding funds. Egypt, president of COP27, says it is also supporting the effort.

After decades of negotiations, developed nations committed in 2009 to contribute funds to poorer countries for reducing the impact of climate change, by switching to energy sources that lower carbon emissions and implementing measures to adapt, such as moving populations to higher ground or building embankment defenses against floods. They committed to providing $100 billion a year from 2020 to 2025, a target not yet achieved. Some $83 billion was paid in 2020, including loans and export credits, not just grants, according to a tally by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a grouping of developed nations.

However, that money is for preventative measures. Developing countries say the missing element is money available for disasters when they hit. That category is known as “loss and damage” in climate negotiations. For many developing countries, this funding is a matter of basic fairness, or “climate justice,” as they say that historically, emissions have been caused largely by the richer countries.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Leads Push for Funding to Counter Damage From Climate Change
The country’s destructive floods will underpin efforts at the U.N., and at climate talks this year, to progress on an international fund for losses from extreme weather

https://www.wsj.com/articles/pakistan-leads-push-for-funding-to-counter-damage-from-climate-change-11663936447

Richer countries have generally been resistant to the idea, given the trillions of dollars potentially involved and the difficulty of deciding how to disburse the funds. An unsuccessful proposal from developing nations at the last summit, in Glasgow, demanded at least $1.3 trillion annually, to finance the shift away from fossil fuels and to protect themselves from the effects of climate change, starting in 2030.

“There’s been decades of pushback on liability and compensation,” said Yamide Dagnet, director of Climate Justice at Open Society, a group that advocates for democracy and government accountability. The 2015 Paris climate accord, for example, included the idea of “loss and damage,” but developed countries wouldn’t agree to any language that would provide any basis for liability or compensation, she said. “The scale of Pakistan’s floods is defining the issue of loss and damage,” Ms. Dagnet said.

In his speech to the U.N. on Wednesday, President Biden singled out Pakistan’s disaster as an example of the “human cost of climate change.” U.S. climate envoy John Kerry met this week with the Pakistani prime minister on the sidelines of the General Assembly, tweeting afterward that they discussed “the urgent need to work together to fight the climate crisis.” The U.S. is the biggest donor so far to Pakistan’s appeal for humanitarian aid for the floods, with $55 million.

Mr. Kerry said this week that he was focused on reducing global greenhouse-gas emissions, including by large developing countries that are now major emitters. Loss and damage will be part of the discussions at the COP27 summit, but he said he didn’t expect any broad agreement would be reached until 2024. “You can’t just set up a facility in six weeks,” said Mr. Kerry. “Where’s the money coming from?”

“In all honesty, the most important thing that we can do is stop, mitigate enough that we prevent loss and damage,” Mr. Kerry said. “And the next most important thing we can do is help people adapt to the damage that’s already there. ”

Still, some governments have undertaken symbolic gestures. This week, Denmark became the first country to offer “loss and damage” compensation to vulnerable countries, pledging $13 million.

Conrod Hunte, deputy chairman of the Association of Small Island States, nations that are some of the most vulnerable to climate change, said that Pakistan’s flooding demonstrates the need for a loss and damages fund. “If the moral conscience of our development partners really kicks in, I think this is something we can walk away with,” Mr. Hunte said.

Droughts and floods are likely to become more intense as a result of climate change, scientists say. In Pakistan this summer, monsoon clouds followed an unusual trajectory, to the south of the country, where more than five times the normal rain fell, not the mountainous north.

A study last week from World Weather Attribution, a global collaboration of scientists that seeks to provide information on the role of global warming in specific weather events, said that climate change was likely a contributing factor in Pakistan’s heavier rainfall this year. That study followed an earlier one from the same group, which found that a heat wave that hit India and Pakistan this spring was made 30 times more likely as a result of climate change.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Leads Push for Funding to Counter Damage From Climate Change
The country’s destructive floods will underpin efforts at the U.N., and at climate talks this year, to progress on an international fund for losses from extreme weather

https://www.wsj.com/articles/pakistan-leads-push-for-funding-to-counter-damage-from-climate-change-11663936447

A study last week from World Weather Attribution, a global collaboration of scientists that seeks to provide information on the role of global warming in specific weather events, said that climate change was likely a contributing factor in Pakistan’s heavier rainfall this year. That study followed an earlier one from the same group, which found that a heat wave that hit India and Pakistan this spring was made 30 times more likely as a result of climate change.




Fahad Saeed, an Islamabad-based scientist at Germany’s Climate Analytics think tank, and one of the co-authors of the study, said that the earlier heat wave warmed the ground, which was a significant factor in drawing in moisture from the sea and the monsoon clouds to the southern part of the country.

“We now have scientific evidence for Pakistan that losses and damages can be attributed to climate change,” Mr. Saeed said.

Egypt’s foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, told a meeting organized by Pakistan this week that discussions around this funding will be “a principal issue on the global climate action agenda” and he hoped for “positive results” at COP27, according to a statement from his government.

The total finance available annually for climate action came to an average of $632 billion for 2019 and 2020, including the private sector, according to a report from Climate Policy Initiative, an advisory firm based in San Francisco. Of that sum, 90% went on switching to cleaner energy, and 7% to adaptation measures such as moving to drought-resistant crops. That leaves losses from extreme weather unfunded, said Preety Bhandari, senior adviser at the World Resources Institute, a think tank based in Washington.

“There is really no option but progress on ‘loss and damage’ at COP27,” said Ms. Bhandari. “It is a make-or-break issue.”


Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif fears that all hell will break loose if a debt deal is not reached to aid the flood-stricken country as the threat of epidemics looms large.

https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/2022/09/23/pakistan-pm-says-all-hell-will-break-loose-if-debt-deal-not-reached/

More than 1,400 people have been killed and 33 million affected by record flooding and monsoon rains which battered the country in recent months, and also caused devastation in neighbouring Afghanistan. Recovery is estimated to cost at least $30 billion.

In an interview with Bloomberg in New York, where he was scheduled to address the UN General Assembly on Friday, Mr Sharif said he had spoken to European leaders and creditor nations to secure a moratorium on debt, some of which is due in the next two months.

“Unless we get substantial relief, how can the world expect from us to stand on our own feet?" he said. "It is simply impossible."

Thousands of doctors have been sent to Pakistan's worst-hit province of Sindh to battle against the spread of waterborne diseases. More than 134,000 cases of diarrhoea and 44,000 cases of malaria were reported in the province this past week, AP reported.

Addressing the "colossal" costs of rebuilding, Mr Sharif also warned of impending chaos if Pakistan does not receive more funds.

“God forbid this happens, all hell will break," he said. “Time is running, and we’re racing against time. Please help us avoid this disaster.”

On a recent visit to the country, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for "global support" in the aftermath of the floods. He issued a warning of the universal effect of climate change, another issue high on the UNGA agenda this year.

“We will do everything possible to mobilise the international community to support your country and to support all of you in this dramatic situation," he said during his visit.

“Let’s stop sleepwalking towards the destruction of our planet by climate change. Today, it is Pakistan. Tomorrow, it could be your country.”


The US Agency for International Development previously announced it would send $50 million in emergency relief assistance.

Angelina Jolie this week visited Pakistan, where she said she had "never seen anything like it".

She repeated Mr Guterres's call for increased international aid.

"We see it's the countries that don't cause as much [damage] to the environment that's bearing the brunt of the disaster," said Jolie, a special envoy for the UN refugee agency. "I am absolutely with you in pushing the international community to do more.

"This is a real wake-up call to the world about where we're at. Climate change is not only real and it's not only coming, it's very much here."
Majumdar said…
Brofessor sb,

While Americans are helping out, your taller than mountain friends seem to be rather hands off.
Riaz Haq said…
Majumdar: "While Americans are helping out, your taller than mountain friends seem to be rather hands off"

Chinese aid to Pakistan flood victims is not as high profile as western aid.

China does not have an equivalent of a globally recognizable celebrity like Angelina Jolie.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan battles disease surge as flood deaths surpass 1,600
By MUNIR AHMED Associated Press SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 — 12:40PM

https://www.startribune.com/pakistan-battles-disease-surge-as-flood-deaths-surpass-1600/600209487/

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan deployed thousands more doctors and medics to battle the outbreak of disease as the death toll from the unprecedented floods that have gripped the country this summer surpassed 1,600 on Friday, officials said.

The disaster management agency said 10 more people had died from the floods in the past 24 hours — four in Sindh, the worst-hit province in the deluge, and six in Baluchistan province — bringing the overall number of fatalities to 1,606 across Pakistan.

In Sindh, where thousands of makeshift medical camps for flood survivors have been set up, the National Disaster Management Authority said outbreaks of a spate of illnesses such as typhoid, malaria and dengue fever have killed at least 300 of the flood victims.

Some of the doctors who refused to work in Sindh province have been fired by the government, according to the provincial health department. Floods have killed 728 people, including 313 children and 134 women in the province since July.

The monsoon rains and flooding, which many experts say are fueled by climate change, have also affected 33 million people and destroyed or damaged 2 million homes across Pakistan. About half a million flood survivors are homeless, living in tents and makeshift structures.

Over the past two months, Pakistan sent nearly 10,000 doctors, nurses and other medical staff to tend to survivors in across Sindh. About 18,000 doctors and nearly 38,000 paramedics are treating survivors in the province, according to the latest data from the health department.

Floods have also damaged more than 1,000 health facilities in Sindh, forcing some survivors to travel to other areas to seek medical help.

Waterborne and other diseases in the past two months have killed 334 flood victims, authorities said. The death toll prompted the World Health Organization last week to raise the alarm about a "second disaster," with doctors on the ground racing to battle outbreaks.

Some floodwaters in Pakistan have receded, but many districts in Sindh are still submerged, and displaced people living in tents and makeshift camps face the threat of gastrointestinal infections, dengue fever and malaria, which are on the rise amid stagnant waters.

Also Friday in Sindh, teams of fumigators fanned out across flood-hit areas, spraying in an effort to keep mosquitos at bay and prevent further outbreaks of dengue fever and malaria. Over 134,000 cases of diarrhea and 44,000 cases of malaria were reported in the hardest-hit areas of Sindh this past week.

Dengue fever is also on the rise, especially in Karachi, the provincial capital, where health teams were spraying insecticide onto puddles of water in the streets.

The devastation has led the United Nations to consider sending more money than it committed during its flash appeal for $160 million to support Pakistan's flood response.
Riaz Haq said…
Faseeh Mangi
@FaseehMangi
·
2h
Relief goods for Pakistan flood victims πŸ‡΅πŸ‡°

UAE πŸ‡¦πŸ‡ͺ 41 flights
Turkey πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡· 13
USA πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ 21
Oman πŸ‡΄πŸ‡² 8
UNHCR 13
WFP 3
China πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³ 4
KSA πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¦ 5
Japan 3
Qatar πŸ‡ΆπŸ‡¦ 4
UNICEF 3
UK πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ 2
Russia πŸ‡·πŸ‡Ί 1
Jordan πŸ‡―πŸ‡΄ 1
Denmark πŸ‡©πŸ‡° 1
France πŸ‡«πŸ‡· 1
Uzbekistan πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Ώ 1
Turkmenistan πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡² 1
Nepal πŸ‡³πŸ‡΅ 1
Greece 1

https://twitter.com/FaseehMangi/status/1573413855857983509?s=20&t=VCDo9FSe6meBxQUFMuayYQ
Riaz Haq said…
In southern Pakistan, this year's unprecedented floods have left people homeless, sick and struggling. A lake 70 miles wide has submerged entire villages.

https://www.npr.org/2022/09/24/1124915475/pakistan-is-still-reeling-from-unprecedented-floods-that-caused-widespread-destr

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Catastrophic flooding in Pakistan has left nearly a third of the country underwater. Even now, nearly a month after unprecedented monsoon rains ended, much of the water is still there. NPR's Diaa Hadid has spent time in one badly affected district in southern Pakistan. She joins us now from Islamabad. Diaa, thanks so much for being with us.

DIAA HADID, BYLINE: Thank you.

SIMON: Where were you? And what did you see?

HADID: Well, we were in a district called Dadu. It's deeply, deeply poor backwater, about five hours drive from the nearest city. And people there are farmhands. They raise livestock. They're fishermen. And there, the monsoon rains created a lake about 70 miles wide. Hundreds of villages, roads and fields were submerged. A few dozen people were killed. But a few villages stayed partly above water. And they're now like islands, and people are stranded there. Fishermen from the area are now boating people and supplies to and from these island villages to what is now the mainland. And we got on a few of these boats. It's surreal. You float past rooftops of schools and mosques and treetops.

SIMON: Diaa, what's happened to all the people who used to live in those villages underwater?

HADID: They're scattered. Some are in tent encampments that were set up by aid groups. But it seems like many more have just pitched up tents by roadsides where it's elevated and dry. While we were driving from place to place, we just saw people sitting under these rows of plastic tarpaulin and traditional patchwork quilts that were propped up by bamboo poles to give people shade. I mean, it was blazing hot. It was over 105 degrees most days we were there. The luckiest families had rescued their solar panels, which are widely used in the area, and they were operating fans.

SIMON: And you spoke to a number of these people, and I wonder what they told you and what their biggest concerns are now.

HADID: Yeah, well, let me tell you about one woman we spoke to. Her name is Benazir. She guesses she's about 20 years old, and she's been living for the past month under a plastic sheet on an embankment. And that's where we met her.

BENAZIR: (Speaking Sindhi).

HADID: She was telling our translator in Sindhi that her life has been a struggle. She can't keep the place clean. She - it's hard for her to cook food. She and her two daughters have to relieve themselves in a nearby field.

BENAZIR: (Speaking Sindhi).

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Speaking Sindhi).

BENAZIR: (Speaking Sindhi).

HADID: The thing that Benazir really worries about is that they're all hungry, and they're sick. She's really worried about her youngest daughter, Salma, who's about 8 months old. She's got fever and diarrhea. And the thing is, is that most kids we met were sick because the floodwaters are polluted with sewage, and it's what most people have to drink. They don't have anything else. And there's mosquitoes all over the place, and they're spreading diseases like dengue and malaria. The government facilities are crowded with thousands of people who need treatment. Medicine's in short supply. So there's not really much health care. So Benazir tells me the best she can do is she's breastfeeding her daughter, Salma. Because when she gives her food, she just throws it up.
Riaz Haq said…
#WorldBank pledges $2 billion for #flood-ravaged #Pakistan.The World Bank agreed last week to provide $850 million in flood #relief for Pakistan. The $2 billion figure includes that amount. #FloodsInPakistan2022 #ClimateCrisis #Sindh https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/World-Bank-pledges-2-billion-for-flood-ravaged-17465357.php?utm_campaign=CMS%20Sharing%20Tools%20(Premium)&utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral via @SFGate

Raiser said the bank is working with provincial authorities to begin as quickly as possible repairing infrastructure and housing and “restore livelihoods, and to help strengthen Pakistan’s resilience to climate-related risks. We are envisaging financing of about $2 billion to that effect."

Over the past two months, Pakistan has sent nearly 10,000 doctors, nurses and other medical staff to tend to survivors in Sindh province.
-------

The World Bank said it will provide about $2 billion in aid to Pakistan, ravaged by floods that have killed more than 1,600 people this year, the largest pledge of assistance so far.

Unprecedented monsoon rains and flooding this year — which many experts attribute to climate change — have also injured some 13,000 people across the country since mid-June. The floods have displaced millions and destroyed crops, half a million homes and thousands of kilometers (miles) of roads.

The World Bank’s vice president for South Asia, Martin Raiser, announced the pledge in an overnight statement after concluding his first official visit to the country Saturday.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives and livelihoods due to the devastating floods and we are working with the federal and provincial governments to provide immediate relief to those who are most affected,” he said.

Raiser met with federal ministers and the chief minister of southern Sindh province, the most affected region, where he toured the badly hit Dadu district.

Thousands of makeshift medical camps for flood survivors have been set up in the province, where the National Disaster Management Authority said outbreaks of typhoid, malaria and dengue fever have killed at least 300 people.

The death toll prompted the World Health Organization last week to raise the alarm about a “second disaster,” with doctors on the ground racing to battle outbreaks.

“As an immediate response, we are repurposing funds from existing World Bank-financed projects to support urgent needs in health, food, shelter, rehabilitation and cash transfers," Raiser said.

The World Bank agreed last week in a meeting with Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly to provide $850 million in flood relief for Pakistan. The $2 billion figure includes that amount.
Riaz Haq said…
#Chinese People’s Association donates relief and rehabilitation assistance worth RMB 125 million (US$17.5) for #Pakistan #flood victims. #Sindh #FloodsInPakistan #FloodsInPakistan2022 #climate https://tribune.com.pk/story/2378569/china-donates-rmb-125m-for-flood-relief-assistance-to-pakistan

Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) donated relief and rehabilitation assistance worth RMB 125 million for the flood victims of Pakistan at a special ceremony held in Beijing on Friday.

Sharing his grief and condolences with the bereaved families, President of CPAFFC Lin Songtian said that in the wake of the devastating floods, the government and people of China have made a substantive contribution to Pakistan’s relief and rehabilitation efforts.

He said that Chinese assistance is demonstrative of its unique friendship with Pakistan and strong people-to-people ties between the two countries.

President Lin highlighted that besides ongoing assistance, China would also play its role in post-flood rehabilitation and infrastructure development in the affected areas.

Speaking on the occasion, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Moinul Haque lauded timely assistance by the CPAFFC and China’s local governments and enterprises for reinforcing Pakistan’s ongoing relief efforts for the flood victims.

Recalling that the two countries have always stood together in difficult times, he said that today’s ceremony is yet another demonstration of China’s solidarity and sympathy with the people of Pakistan.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s 1st woman architect co-creates sustainable shelters with severe flood survivors
Pakistan received over three times its usual rainfall in August.

ByRiley Farrell
September 28, 2022, 1:09 AM


https://abcnews.go.com/International/pakistans-1st-woman-architect-creates-sustainable-shelters-severe/story?id=90568829

Though Yasmeen Lari, co-founder of the disaster relief nonprofit Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, is no stranger to distress, she felt “devastated” by one recent photo, which captured a now-deceased mother’s birth as witnesses pulled her infant out of the muddy water.

Pakistan received over three times its usual rainfall in August, marking this storm as one of the area's deadliest natural disasters in five decades. The enormity of the tragedy, she said, requires a national paradigm shift toward solutions and away from “outsider handouts."

In the weeks since the flooding, Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, created in 1981, has provided 1,200 bamboo material sets to Sindh, one of the nation’s hardest-hit provinces.

By the end of August, Pakistan's minister of climate change said one-third of the country was under water -- an area with roughly 33 million people -- and the torrential downpour washed away communities, leaving people at risk of waterborne illnesses, drowning and malnutrition.

The government of Pakistan estimated the total losses to be worth upward of $40 billion from the flooding. Climate change will propel this extreme weather to continue wreaking havoc on Pakistan and the rest of the world, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Often labeled Pakistan’s first woman architect, Lari, 81, had a storied career of designing commercial buildings, such as the Taj Mahal Hotel, the Finance and Trade Center and the Pakistan State Oil House Headquarters in Karachi. She retired in 2000, pursuing humanitarian architectural efforts that intersect Pakistani culture and low-carbon, pragmatic solutions, which she has called her “past life’s atonement.”

Experts are not needed to assemble Lari’s shelters, as the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan has released YouTube guides for those who need to quickly learn.

Lari differentiates her nonprofit from others by focusing on knowledge-sharing and finding ways for women to participate in their own livelihoods and autonomy.

Women in Pakistan, she said, have capabilities to create beauty and patterns, just as they were taught by their mothers and their mothers before them.

On the other hand, charity responses to Pakistan’s past disasters have been “alien to the terrain and to the people,” Lari said.

“Everything is co-created,” Lari said. “Our materials must provide social and ecological justice so that human life is at the forefront.”

Perhaps most importantly, Lari believes that empowerment is more effective than handouts. To emphasize her prioritization of dignity and maternal connection with Pakistan, she applied the metaphor of dastarkhwan, a name used across Central and South Asia referring to a traditional space where food is eaten.

“I link the project to a mother's dining room, which has cooked for the whole village,” Lari said. “Nobody is throwing bags of food rations at you, but the progress is done in a civilized manner.”
Riaz Haq said…
These bamboo shelters are empowering communities displaced by Pakistan's floods

https://www.cnn.com/style/article/pakistan-floods-bamboo-shelters-climate-intl-hnk/index.html

Pakistan's "never-before-seen" floods have affected 33 million people, many of whom are still seeking safe refuge after record monsoon rains damaged or destroyed more than a million homes. The summer's catastrophic flooding, which was exacerbated by melting glaciers, has submerged one-third of the country, with authorities saying it could take up to six months for the water to recede.
To address the need for emergency housing, architect Yasmeen Lari and the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan have been working around the clock to equip people in hard-hit Sindh province with the skills and materials to construct prefabricated bamboo shelters.
The shelters, called Lari OctaGreen (LOG), can be built by six or seven people within a few hours. They were initially designed in response to a 7.5-magnitude earthquake that hit northeastern Afghanistan in 2015, with a pilot program providing temporary homes to several hundred families in neighboring Pakistan, where the majority of deaths occurred. Since 2018, more than 1,200 bamboo versions have been built in disaster-prone areas. (Pakistan is the eighth most vulnerable nation to the climate crisis according to the Global Climate Risk Index, despite European Union data showing that it is responsible for less than 1% of planet-warming gases).
The project aims to give people in disaster-stricken areas a sense of agency by teaching them how to build their own homes — and helping them generate income in the process, as many have lost their livelihoods. Communities are also taught ways to deal with future disasters, such as making aquifer trenches and wells to absorb rainwater.
"The people who are impacted want to contribute the most," Lari said in a phone interview, explaining that many of the project's artisans are from the flooded villages. They have also been helping identify who needs help and how to deliver the prefabricated parts.
"People are sitting under the sky with nothing. They are thinking: How can we work? They have no security, no privacy, no dignity," Lari said, adding that people "don't need handouts" but should, instead, be empowered.
The shelters are designed to be low cost, low tech and low in environmental impact. "I want it to be zero carbon," explained Lari, whose foundation has been entirely subsidizing the emergency homes at a cost of about 25,000 Pakistani rupees ($108) each. "I don't want to create another problem in climate change by building in concrete or steel."
Bamboo was chosen for its strength and resilience. And, because it's commonly grown throughout the country, it's easier to source. Two workshops have been established to cut the bamboo rods to specific sizes and then bundle them into kits. The shelters are assembled, on site, into eight sturdy panels and a roof that are then bound together by rope and covered with matting.
Where possible, "everything should be locally-sourced" Lari said. "This is a way to link up the production of housing with how people can earn immediately."
Riaz Haq said…
#UN to seek $800 million more in aid for #flood-hit #Pakistan “to respond to the extraordinary scale of the devastations” #FloodsInPakistan #ClimateCrisis https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/un-to-seek-800-million-more-in-aid-for-flood-hit-pakistan/2022/09/30/89d5090e-40b9-11ed-8c6e-9386bd7cd826_story.html

The United Nations will seek $800 million more in aid from the international community to respond to soaring life-saving needs of Pakistani flood survivors, a U.N. official said Friday.

The unprecedented deluges — likely worsened by climate change — have killed 1,678 people in Pakistan since mid-June. About half a million survivors are still living in tents and makeshift shelters.

Julien Harneis, the U.N. resident coordinator in Pakistan, told reporters in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, that the latest appeal will be issued from Geneva on Tuesday. It comes just weeks after the agency sought $160 million in emergency funding for 33 million people affected by floods.

Harneis said the U.N. decided to issue the revised appeal “to respond to the extraordinary scale of the devastations” caused by the floods. Pakistan’s displaced are now confronting waterborne and other diseases, he said. The outbreaks, health officials say, have caused more than 300 deaths so far.

Since July, several countries and U.N. agencies have sent more than 130 flights carrying aid for the flood victims, many of whom complain they have either received too little help or are still waiting for aid.

Officials and experts have blamed the rains and resulting floodwaters on climate change. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited some of the flood-hit areas earlier this month. He has repeatedly called on the international community to send massive amounts of aid to Pakistan.

The Pakistani government estimates the losses from the floods to be about $30 billion.

Riaz Haq said…
Battered by Floods and Trapped in Debt, Pakistani Farmers Struggle to Survive
The recent flooding has plunged small farmers in sharecropping arrangements further into debt with their landlords — a cycle that has worsened as extreme weather events become increasingly common.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/01/world/asia/pakistan-flood-farmers.html

NAWABSHAH, Pakistan — The young woman waded into the waist-deep floodwater that covered her farmland, scouring shriveled stalks of cotton for the few surviving white blooms. Every step she took in the warm water was precarious: Her feet sank into the soft earth. Snakes glided past her. Swarms of mosquitoes whirred in her ears.

But the farmworker — Barmeena, just 14 — had no choice. “It was our only source of livelihood,” she told visiting New York Times journalists.

She is one of the millions of farmworkers whose fields were submerged by the record-shattering floods that have swept across Pakistan. In the hardest-hit regions, where the floods drowned entire villages, the authorities have warned that the floodwater may not fully recede for months.

Still, wherever the water has receded even a bit, farm laborers are scrambling to salvage whatever they can from the battered remains of their cotton and rice harvests. It is desperate work. Many already owe hundreds or thousands of dollars to the landlords whose fields they cultivate each year, as part of a system that has long governed much of rural Pakistan.

Each planting season, the landlords offer the farmers loans to buy fertilizer and seeds. In exchange, the farmers cultivate their fields and earn a small cut of the harvest, a portion of which goes toward repaying the loan.


But now, their summer harvests are in ruins. Unless the water recedes, they will not be able to plant the wheat they harvest each spring. Even if they can, the land is certain to produce less after being damaged by the floodwaters, from a cataclysmic combination of heavy glacier melt and record monsoon rains, which scientists say were both intensified by climate change.

Such extreme weather events that damage crop yields and sink farmers into mounting debt are becoming increasingly common, and are unlikely to end. In recent years, the unpredictability of the seasons has led some members of farming households to migrate to cities as farmers look for more stable jobs. That, in turn, has landlords worried about a coming farm labor shortage, they say.

But other farmers feel they have no choice but to stay.

“Our life goes like that — sinking into debt, not earning the money to pay it back, and then we do it again,” said Mairaj Meghwar, 40, a farmer who lives in the village of Lal Muhammad in Sindh Province, the region that sustained the most flood damage.
Riaz Haq said…
#FloodsInPakistan2022: #UN ups #flood #aid appeal as #Pakistan enters ‘second wave of death’. World body now seeks $816m for flood-relief efforts, up from initial appeal in August for $160m. #Sindh https://aje.io/3ib0ch via @AJEnglish

Islamabad, Pakistan – The United Nations has increased its aid appeal for Pakistan, where more than five million people are facing a severe food crisis in the wake of recent catastrophic floods.

Nearly 1,700 people, including more than 600 children, lost their lives and a total 33 million people were affected after record-breaking rains began lashing Pakistan in June.

Julien Harneis, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for the country, said on Monday that the world body was now seeking $816m for flood-relief efforts, up from its initial appeal for $160m in August, when heavy rains and floods swept through much of Pakistan.

“We are now entering a second wave of death and destruction. There will be an increase in child morbidity, and it will be terrible unless we act rapidly to support the government in increasing the provision of health, nutrition and water and sanitation services across the affected areas,” Harneis told reporters at a media briefing in Geneva.


The Pakistani government and UN have both repeatedly blamed climate change for the floods and sought debt relief as a means to support the country.

In its latest report on Saturday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said 8.62 million people in 28 assessed districts were estimated to be in crisis and enduring the emergency phases of food security between September and November 2022, “including some 5.74 million people in flood-affected districts covered by the assessment”.

The OCHA report also noted that “water-borne and vector-borne diseases” are of “growing concern”, particularly in the hard-hit provinces of Sindh and Balochistan.

It added that close to 1.6 million women of reproductive age, including nearly 130,000 pregnant women, need urgent health services.

Addressing the UN General Assembly late last month, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said his country has been facing the wrath of climate crisis – even though it had little responsibility in causing it.

“Pakistan has never seen a starker and more devastating example of the impact of global warming … Nature has unleashed her fury on Pakistan without looking at our carbon footprint, which is next to nothing. Our actions did not contribute to this,” he said.
Riaz Haq said…
This summer, devastating floods in Pakistan submerged entire villages and marooned residents. As of mid-September, around 1,500 people are known to have died, and more than 33 million people have been displaced. Scientists say that climate change has made extreme rain in South Asia more likely. Widespread cases of malaria, dengue fever and Covid-19 have exacerbated the strain on the country’s infrastructure.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/29/insider/a-trip-to-cover-pakistans-destructive-floods-and-whats-left-behind.html

Christina Goldbaum, a New York Times correspondent based in Dubai, applied for a visa to enter Pakistan in early September, after another round of floods gushed through, to cover the disaster. She traveled by plane to Islamabad and then to Karachi, and finally by car to the Dadu District, one of the country’s worst-affected areas, in the Sindh Province. Once she arrived in townthe only means of travel was by boat. She worked with Zia ur-Rehman, another reporter, and Kiana Hayeri and Saiyna Bashir, two photographers.

In an interview, Ms. Goldbaum discussed their coverage and what the future might hold for the land as the climate becomes more extreme. This conversation has been edited.

Climate Forward There’s an ongoing crisis — and tons of news. Our newsletter keeps you up to date. Get it in your inbox.
What was it like when you first arrived?

When we got to Dadu, we had already heard from folks that Dadu was one of the worst-hit districts by the flooding. We went to what used to be a bus stop taking people from the city to other smaller towns that had turned into kind of a dock. The road just ended, and where there had been farmland was a lake. Tons of fishermen from the south had brought their wooden motorboats here, and they were taking people from that bus station to their villages if they were still above water.

To get to the most affected areas, we hopped into a boat and took it out across the water. We were passing homes that had been half-submerged, villages where maybe one or two houses were still there. And in some of them, there were still either entire families or a single man who stayed behind to protect valuables.

-----------

A lot of people we’ve been talking to have also brought up this sinking realization that, especially for farmers, the crisis has really only just begun.
Riaz Haq said…
#Tent cities popping up for #IDPs after #FloodsInPakistan2022. Levees built in #Pakistan to contain the #Indus overflow floods are preventing the rainstorm water from draining into the #river, resulting in standing water in the fields and homes in #Sindh. https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2022/10/pakistan-flood-cop27-climate-change/671664/

The official emergency simulations made assumptions that highways to transport relief goods would remain intact. In the event, more than 5,000 miles of roads were washed away, and some routes were covered by 10 feet of water.

The country’s needs are changing too rapidly for the government to cope. At first, it scrambled to source tents and tarpaulins, because its own inventory did not cover even a fraction of what was called for. Then it struggled to provide clean drinking water because so many local sources were contaminated. And the demands for resources keep piling up: mosquito nets; birthing facilities for pregnant women; antivenom medicine, because any dry land is infested with snakes flooded out of their regular habitat; fodder, fencing, and veterinary care for people’s livestock.

The government initially had difficulty even finding dry areas on which to place camps for the displaced. Then, when they were established, many people avoided them because they couldn’t take their livestock. In agrarian Pakistan, buffalo are considered “black gold”; owning one changes a family’s entire livelihood. As a result, thousands of families camped wherever they could—on roadsides, on embankments, or anywhere with shelter. The government had no ready way to track where anyone was and who needed what.

Some of the post-monsoon mess stems from prior administrative incompetence. The provincial governments in Sindh and Balochistan did not have a comprehensive evacuation plan in case of flash floods. Maintenance problems meant that many of the canals had not been dredged effectively, and the country’s infrastructure for shedding water was simply overwhelmed. As if this was not scandal enough, Pakistan’s chief meteorologist was accused of embezzlement and dismissed after the rains had come.

Worse, some of the flooding was exacerbated by man-made measures taken earlier to control flooding. In 2010, Pakistan was hit by a disastrous “super flood” caused by the swollen Indus River overflowing its banks. In the aftermath, the government raised the river’s embankments. This time, when the exceptional monsoon rains came, the Indus stayed within its regular seasonal flow—but those higher levees were now holding back the stormwater from draining into the river.

Another part of the mess is simply the sort of chaos intrinsic to natural disasters. Sindh’s education minister issued an order to all the relief camps to establish schools for the displaced children of the new tent cities. Local officials in some districts understood this to mean that all the school buildings that had been adapted to make relief accommodation had to revert to functioning as schools. To obey the ministerial guidance, they evicted flood victims from classrooms in the middle of the night so that regular schooling could resume. No students showed up in the morning, of course, and no one knows where those people went.

Such problems were exacerbated by institutional overreach and failures of coordination. Sindh’s high court elbowed its way into relief distribution and ordered the government to set up committees headed by judges to monitor the work. As a result, when aid trucks were handed over to district commissioners, many officials refused to distribute any supplies until the judges came in person. The commissioners say they don’t want to risk being hauled before courts. Meanwhile, people saw trucks lined up with goods they couldn’t access, which led to suspicion that officials were misappropriating the aid. And because crisis profiteering occurs in every disaster, scattered instances of hoarding are seen as proof of widespread corruption.
Riaz Haq said…
#Tent cities popping up for #IDPs after #FloodsInPakistan2022. Levees built in #Pakistan to contain the #Indus overflow floods are preventing the rainstorm water from draining into the #river, resulting in standing water in the fields and homes in #Sindh. https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2022/10/pakistan-flood-cop27-climate-change/671664/


More of the mess involves wrangling over difficult decisions and their political costs. To help the floodwaters drain, relief cuts have to be dug. But in almost every case, these cuts will result in collateral damage to villages and fields. And those affected are not easily persuaded that choices about the sites of these drainage ditches have been based on purely technical considerations. The existing deficit of trust between the people and government creates a rumor mill about how such flood-remediation measures are a means of settling political scores by deluging opponents’ property.

The flooding has not led to any abatement in the country’s political turmoil. The populist political opposition led by former Prime Minister Imran Khan is continuing its rallies and campaigns, heckling ministers during appeals for flood donations. His party tacitly encourages its followers to use social media to lobby world leaders not to assist the government with aid, claiming that the money will be siphoned off. So what is true locally also applies nationally: The suffering of the rural poor in the flood zone has become partisan hackery.

Salma, a schoolteacher and nonprofit worker (I learned only her first name), fled with her family from her home in the Sindh countryside to Karachi. Her district of Shahdadkot is still under feet of water. “I’ve heard the buzzwords,” she told me. “Climate adaptation and whatnot, telling us to change the way we build our houses, change the way we live. Why don’t you tell the rest of the world that? To change the way it lives? Why should we adapt to the consequences of their actions?”

Her point: Pakistan contributes less than 1 percent to the world’s greenhouse gases, yet it is now suffering disproportionately from the effects of global warming. According to World Weather Attribution estimates, the monsoon rains from June to August were 50 percent more intense than they would have been had the climate not already warmed by 1.2 degrees Celsius. Scientists debate exactly how much of this year’s rain flooding is due to climate change, but most agree that past data are no longer a predictive guide. The summer floods followed an unusual springtime heat wave of 50-degree temperatures, forest fires, and crop destruction. Monsoon depressions typically travel north to south in the country, losing intensity as they go. This time, repeated storm cycles hit the south first and stayed there.

The federal and provincial governments are trying frantically to control the damage. Some cash has already been disbursed to the neediest in the flooded areas, and a wider compensation scheme for deaths and losses such as damaged homes, lost livestock, and destroyed crops has been promised. The estimated losses caused by the floods are equivalent to 10 percent of the country’s economic output—at a time when the country was already drowning in debt. The government had been in talks with the IMF about a bailout, barring which Pakistan was sure to default. The loan has now been approved—but with stringent conditions such as ending fuel subsidies, which will make everything more expensive.
Riaz Haq said…
#FloodsInPakistan2022: 'Cascading calamities' in #Pakistan drive #UnitedNations to quadruple funding appeal to $816 million. #UN chief AntΓ³nio Guterres has called for "serious action" on loss and damage at next month's #COP27 #climate talks in Egypt. https://news.sky.com/story/cascading-calamities-in-pakistan-drive-united-nations-to-quadruple-funding-appeal-12714456

Rich polluting countries like the UK have a "moral responsibility" to help Pakistan recover from deadly flooding fuelled by climate change, the United Nations has said as the body quadruples its funding appeal.

The revised UN plan to help Pakistan recover from this summer's deadly flooding now calls for $816m (£728m) - a surge of $656m (£589m) from the initial appeal - just to cover the most urgent needs until next May.

In spite of the huge increase, the new figure still "pales in comparison to what is needed," to cover food, water, health and sanitation, shelter and emergency education, secretary-general AntΓ³nio Guterres said.

The flooding has left more than three million children hungry, killed more than 1,300 people and inflicted an estimated $30bn (£26bn) in financial losses.

"These cascading calamities in Pakistan can linger for years to come," Mr Guterres warned today.

He told the United Nations General Assembly the "central question remains the climate crisis... greenhouse gas emissions are rising along with climate calamities".

"In particular, wealthier countries bear a moral responsibility to help places such as Pakistan recover, adapt and build resilience to disasters supercharged by the climate crisis," he said.

The group of 20 (G20) large economies, which includes the UK, USA, European Union and China, are responsible for 80% of all the world's greenhouse gas pollution.

The 2022 monsoon rainfall in Pakistan has been nearly three times higher than the 30-year average. Climate scientists agree that climate breakdown is making such weather extremes more likely, and intensified the rain in Pakistan this year.



Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan is the victim of “a grim calculus of climate injustice”, said UN Secretary-General AntΓ³nio Guterres, while calling on industrialised nations that drive 80 per cent of climate-destroying emissions to help the country recover, adapt and build resilience to disasters.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1714207

While concluding a debate on the devastation caused by the recent floods, the UN chief called help for Pakistan a “moral responsibility” of industrialised nations.

“This time it is Pakistan, tomorrow, it could be any of our countries and our communities,” he added.

On Friday, the UNGA unanimously adopted a resolution urging donor nations and institutions to provide full support to rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.

Mr Guterres, who recently visited Pakistan, told the UNGA that flood waters covered a landmass three times the total area of his own country, Portugal.

“Pakistan is on the verge of a public health disaster”, he warned, adding that now cholera, malaria and dengue fever could take “far more lives than the floods”.

In another appeal for help, the UN refugee agency said on Saturday that it urgently needed relief goods for more than 650,000 people.

UNHCR Spokesperson Matthew Saltmarsh said Pakistan was facing “a colossal challenge” and more support were needed.

In its latest estimates, UNHCR has recorded at least 1,700 deaths; 12,800 injured, including at least 4,000 children; some 7.9 million displacements; and nearly 600,000 living in relief sites.
Riaz Haq said…
#Education activist #MalalaYousafzai returns to #Pakistan to support flood victims. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate landed in #Karachi Tuesday and will stay in #Sindh to show solidarity with #flood victims. #FloodsInPakistan2022 https://abcn.ws/3Cttwql

The extreme flooding this summer, caused by fierce monsoon rains, killed nearly 1,700 people, injured another 13,000 and affected over 33 million, according to Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority. Millions of acres of crops were damaged and 18,000 schools were destroyed, impacting over 3 million children, officials said.

"Extreme flooding in Pakistan is sweeping away houses, schools and communities," Yousafzai tweeted in August, noting that millions have been affected, "including in my home of Swat Valley."

Her organization Malala Fund said it has been working to mitigate the impact of the flooding on girls' access to education as well as help provide funding to partners that are providing direct flood relief.

Yousafzai's return to Pakistan comes a decade after she survived an assassination attempt ordered by the Taliban because she spoke out for the right of all girls to go to school. On Oct. 9, 2012, on her way home from school, a Taliban terrorist stopped her school van, identified Malala, then 15, and shot her in the head.

A school van carrying female students was fired upon on Monday in Yousafzai's native Swat Valley, killing the driver. Thousands of people in the region protested against increased violence in the region on Tuesday.

Riaz Haq said…
#PakistanFloods could increase #poverty by 2.5 to 4.0 percentage points as a direct consequence of the #floods, with adverse human development effects in disaster-affected areas in #Sindh, #Balochistan. #Pakistan https://www.dawn.com/news/1715252

The World Bank says the national poverty rate in Pakistan could increase by 2.5 to 4.0 percentage points as a direct consequence of the floods, with adverse human development effects in disaster-affected areas.

The size and duration of shocks will vary across locations and households, depending on the intensity of the flooding as well as the quality of relief and reconstruction efforts, the World Bank says in its latest ‘Macro Poverty Outlook for Pakistan’ released during the course of ongoing IMF-World Bank annual meetings.

According to the outlook made available on Saturday, the high inflation and devastating floods will have an adverse impact on poverty. While rising prices reduced the real purchasing power of all households, the floods primarily affected rural areas in Sindh and Balochistan where poverty rates are already high.

Poor households are more dependent on agricultural income and spend a larger share of their income on food, and therefore will be disproportionally affected by the loss of harvest and assets like housing and livestock, and rising prices, the report notes.

The economic outlook and prospects for overdue adjustment have been significantly affected by the floods. Agricultural output is expected to decline sharply, with losses to cotton, date, wheat, and rice crops. Nearly a million livestock is estimated to have perished.

Cotton losses are expected to weigh on the domestic textile industry and the wholesale and transportation service industries. Public relief and limited reconstruction activities are expected to partially offset the loss in activity.

Real GDP growth is therefore expected to slow to 2.0 percent in the fiscal year 2023 but recover to 3.2 percent by the fiscal year 2024, supported by a recovery in agricultural production, reconstruction efforts, and projected lower global inflationary pressures.

Due to higher energy prices, flood disruptions, and the weaker rupee, inflation is projected to rise to 23.0 percent in the fiscal year 2023 but moderate over the forecast horizon with declining international energy prices and resolution of flood-related supply constraints.

Despite flood-associated effects, the current account deficit is expected to narrow slightly to 4.3 percent of GDP in the fiscal year 2023 with slower domestic economic activity and is projected to shrink further in 2024 as exports recover from flood impacts.

In line with fiscal consolidation efforts, the fiscal deficit is projected to contract modestly to 6.8 percent of GDP in FY23, despite negative revenue impacts from the flooding and increased expenditure needs. The fiscal deficit is expected to gradually narrow over the medium term as revenue mobilization measures, particularly GST harmonization and personal income tax reform, take hold.

With rapid nominal GDP growth, public debt as a share of GDP is projected to decline gradually over the forecast period, despite continued primary deficits. The macroeconomic outlook is predicated on the IMF-EFF programme remaining on track.

The outlook notes that despite an economic rebound in FY21 and fiscal year 2022, persistent structural weaknesses of the Pakistani economy, such as low productivity growth due to low investment and exports, are hindering a sustained recovery.

Expansionary Covid-related macroeconomic policies supported aggregate demand that has contributed to pressures on domestic prices, the external sector, the exchange rate, and foreign reserves. In response, the Government, amid the ongoing monetary tightening, passed a contractionary 2023 budget and reversed unsustainable energy price subsidies.
Riaz Haq said…
Negotiators at COP27 have mandate to discuss funding for climate damages with Pakistan as focal point
The World
Nov. 7, 2022 · 4:59 PM EST
Carolyn Beeler

https://theworld.org/media/2022-11-07/negotiators-cop27-have-mandate-discuss-funding-climate-damages-pakistan-focal-point


COP27 started on Sunday, and for the first time, funding for climate losses and damages is on the agenda. The World's Carolyn Beeler visits a region in Pakistan still reeling from this year's historic floods to see what damages they incurred. And, she lays out the arguments that developing countries are pushing for at the climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh.
Riaz Haq said…
Saudi Arabia’s KS Relief starts distributing winter kits in Pakistan

https://www.bolnews.com/pakistan/2022/11/saudi-arabias-ks-relief-starts-distributing-winter-kits-in-pakistan/


ISLAMABAD: King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KS Relief) has started a project to distribute 25,000 winter kits among recent flood-affected and deserving people living in Pakistan.

The project has been launched in collaboration with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), said a statement by Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan.

It said this year, life-threatening floods caused by unusually heavy monsoon rains have affected 33 million people in Pakistan. The KS Relief Centre is engaged in providing emergency aid to the flood-affected areas of Pakistan to help people to cope with the disaster, it added.

The winter relief package will be distributed in 14 districts of Pakistan including Ganache, Skardu, Nagar, Astor, Ghazar, Chitral, Swat, Upper Dir, Mansehra, Dera Ismail Khan, Dadu, Jamshoro, and Qamber-Shahdadkot.

The package includes 50,000 polyester quilts and 25,000 winter kits, including warm shawls for men and women and warm clothes for children and adults.

King Salman’s relief package will be distributed transparently with the help of NDMA and provincial government, which will benefit more than 175,000 people in these districts.

KS Relief provided humanitarian aid to flood-hit Pakistan and distributed relief goods in the flood-hit areas of Punjab, Sindh and rest of the country.

Saudi Arabia had established an air-bridge to deliver relief goods to Pakistan as well as launched the Sahem portal to receive donations from the general public for the flood victims.

Riaz Haq said…
The National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs was informed that following the UN Flash appeal, Pakistan has received $3.4 billion for flood relief operations and reconstruction.

https://www.brecorder.com/news/40210777/flood-relief-operations-reconstruction-pakistan-has-received-34bn-na-body-told


“The committee was informed that in response to UN Flash appeal, pledges worth $270 million have been made. Of these pledges, $170 million has been converted to firm commitments. On members’ queries regarding cumulative assistance received, it was informed that Pakistan has received $3.4 billion for flood relief operations and reconstruction,” said a press release issued by the office of the chairman of NA Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs.

In the summary presented to the committee, it was told that in response to UN Flash Appeal for USD 816 million, pledges worth USD 304.4 million have been made. Of these pledges, USD 174 million has been converted to firm commitments (donors concluded agreements with UN Agency/INGO for the disbursement of funds).

The international friends/partners have committed financial aid worth USD 277 million (mostly for in-kind relief goods) which are not part of UN Flash Appeal.

It was further informed that the multilateral financial institutions have also allocated funds/loans for the flood relief assistance.

The World Bank has repurposed a loan worth USD 281 while AIIB has offered a USD 500 million loan. ADB has repurposed USD 475 million loans as well as granted a 3 million new funding.

The committee was informed that the total multilateral lending amounts to USD 1259 million.

It was further told that the sum of all pledges under UN Flash Appeal, bilateral and multilateral assistance amounts to USD 1807.4 million.

Pakistan has received 140 planeloads, 13 trainloads and 6 shiploads of relief goods from our international friends and partners like Turkey, China, the USA, KSA, the UAE, Qatar, the EU etc.

Till date, the International Assistance received by NDMA includes 25187 tents, 2205 tarpaulins, 16, 352 blankets, 1493 sleeping mats, nearly 8000 kitchen sets, 54826 food packs and 182 ration, 1030 units of baby food, 31 tons of medicine, 4722 hygiene kits, 87 water pumps and 58 boats.

The panel was told that assistance is also being received from Pakistani citizens and diaspora through various mechanisms such as directly to the PM Flood Relief Fund, to NGOs, relatives, individuals, etc. To date, an amount of 3,925 million Pak Rupees (equivalent to USD 18 million) has been received in the PM Flood Relief Accounts, including PKR 1942 million (8.93 million USD) donations from overseas, according to a summary shared with the panel.

In response to the members’ concerns whether the Flash Appeal was successful in meeting the desired targets, it was observed that the appeal was “mildly successful” against the ambitious target set; however, given the international community’s shift in attention to Ukraine, Flash Appeal was a success.
Riaz Haq said…
Chinese medical team concluded 14-day aid in Pakistan

http://en.ce.cn/Insight/202211/29/t20221129_38259156.shtml


GUILIN, Nov. 29 (China Economic Net)-"After the 14-day aid in Pakistan, we are ready to continue giving full play to our professional strengths and enhance exchanges with Pakistan and contribute to the reconstruction of Pakistan’s health system", said Mr. Huang Wenxin, head of China (Guangxi) Medical Expert Team for Aiding Pakistan in Flood Relief.

The team has concluded its work in Pakistan from Oct. 28 to Nov. 11 for post-flood medical treatment and infectious disease prevention
During the trip, the expert team, consisting of experts on gastroenterology, infectious diseases, respiratory medicine, dermatology, general surgery, nursing, monitoring, analysis and prevention of infectious diseases, drinking water sanitation, mosquito vector monitoring and transmission, environmental elimination, and laboratory testing, visited Islamabad, Karachi, and the badly-hit Khaipur District in Sindh Province.

In Gambat Relief Camp, the team donated medical supplies to Khaipur, including antibiotics and antiviral drugs for respiratory tract infections and infectious diarrhea, dermatological topical medication for infection, anti-allergy medicine, anti-diarytic medicine, mosquito repellent medicine, antimalarial medicine, malaria detection kits, protective clothing, medical masks, etc.

Experts in the team together with local doctors provided free medical care to the flood affectees. “We also checked the water source and impact of mosquitoes and flies in the camp, and discussed with the health officials of Heilbul County on how to strengthen health education for the flood victims and promote a healthy lifestyle”, Mr. Huang Wenxin told China Economic Net (CEN).

“I’m deeply impressed by the patients saying thanks to us, the hospitable local doctors, and the full support from local health officials and security personnel”, Mr. Huang Wenxin recalled.

The team also met with Pakistan’s national and local health and disaster management authorities and put forward suggestions on post-disaster medical treatment, sanitation and epidemic prevention. It is suggested that national health campaign, medium- and long-term plans regarding the construction of hydraulic projects, and epidemic surveillance can be carried out to improve urban and rural sanitation, enhance the capacity for flood control, drought resistance, and disaster prevention, and control epidemics effectively.

Riaz Haq said…
WFP (World Food Program) Pakistan Floods Situation Report, 30 November 2022 - Pakistan | ReliefWeb

https://reliefweb.int/report/pakistan/wfp-pakistan-floods-situation-report-30-november-2022

Highlights

• WFP has reached 2.6 million people with 40,286 mt of food and over US$3.6 million in cash-based transfers (CBT) since the start of its flood response in August 2022.

• WFP and FAO presented an analysis on needs, coverage, and gaps at the Food Security & Agriculture (FSA) Working Group.
A total funding gap of US$167 million for FSA sector remains of which US$117.6 million pertains to the shortfall for food assistance and US$49.3 million for agriculture assistance.
Lack of funding will contribute to growing concerns of a major food and nutrition crisis in Pakistan in early 2023.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Monsoon Floods - Situation Report #6, December 6, 2022

https://reliefweb.int/report/pakistan/pakistan-monsoon-floods-situation-report-6-december-6-2022

Fast Facts

Since the devastating floods that began in June, more than 1,700 people have died and almost 8 million people have been displaced.

International Medical Corps has deployed 11 mobile medical teams, which have provided 17,849 consultations in severely affected districts in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.

In Sindh, International Medical Corps, in collaboration with its local partner, has delivered 816,000 liters of potable water to the affected population through 19 water trucks, and 300,000 liters through our solar-powered mobile reverse-osmosis plant, which converts contaminated floodwater into safe drinking water.

Heavy rains and floods in Pakistan have affected more than one-third of the country and caused more than 1,700 deaths. Five months after the disaster, more than 6 million people remain in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
According to reports from the field, more than 40% of those affected people are still living along roads in temporary shelters in unsanitary conditions, often with limited access to basic services—thus heightening the risk of a major public health crisis.

The floodwaters have started receding in many districts of Sindh and Balochistan, and families have started returning to their villages, but vulnerabilities remain due to a lack of adequate shelter, tents and food items, including safe drinking water. Cases of water and vector-borne diseases continue to remain a major concern, due to stagnant water that is still present in their communities. Among other challenges, low stocks of essential medicines and medical supplies continue to pose hurdles to providing adequate health services to people in need. Moreover, the winter season in many of the affected areas is fast approaching, and is likely to negatively affect the population in the coming weeks. Without adequate shelters and blankets, it is likely the health situation of those affected will quickly worsen.

According to United Nations Population Fund, around 5.1 million women in affected areas are of childbearing age and 410,846 are currently pregnant, with 136,950 expected to give birth in the next few months.

The floods have also aggravated food insecurity and malnutrition, as the agricultural land in flood-affected areas is still inundated and livestock has perished. About 14.6 million people will likely require emergency food assistance from December 2022 through March 2023. According to the latest National Nutrition Survey estimates, almost 1.6 million children in Sindh and Balochistan are at risk of malnutrition that will require treatment, and stunting rates among children will rise if they do not receive treatment in a timely manne
Riaz Haq said…
What would a climate-resilient Pakistan look like? Sindh offers clues.


https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2022/1206/What-would-a-climate-resilient-Pakistan-look-like-Sindh-offers-clues



Pakistan consistently ranks in the top 10 of the world’s most climate-vulnerable countries. Not only is the interval between catastrophic monsoon seasons shrinking, but also rising temperatures are rapidly melting glaciers in the north. Karachi, a city of 15 million people, is considered by some experts the world’s most vulnerable major city.

At the same time, an international community distracted by rising global hunger and mounting climate catastrophes seems to have almost forgotten about Pakistan.

Just last month, United Nations officials relaunched pleas for emergency assistance for Pakistan, noting that the $816 million humanitarian appeal for Pakistan is barely one-fifth funded.


Some form of emergency food, shelter, and health care assistance has reached more than 4 million Pakistanis, according to U.N. officials. But with nearly one-fifth of the country affected by the flooding, and at least 5 million Pakistanis remaining displaced from homes and livelihoods as winter sets in, they say the crisis will only deepen without a quick turnaround in intervention.

In November, Pakistani officials did score what they say will be an important step forward when they led a successful campaign at the COP27 in Egypt for a wealthy-country-financed climate mitigation fund.

The fund, the details of which remain sketchy, would be designed to help developing countries like Pakistan that are increasingly prone to climate disasters build a more resilient future.

But as promising as the concept may be, it does nothing for the millions of Pakistanis now facing rising food insecurity, lost shelter, and disrupted livelihoods and education.

Increasingly, it is private Pakistani charities and a few innovative projects aimed at building back with more climate-resilient communities that are among the few bright spots on the country’s immediate bleak horizon.

When nonstop torrential rains beginning in July suggested this would be a monsoon like nothing in Pakistan’s experience, Alkhidmat swung into action in areas where it was already well implanted in development work – often areas where a government presence is weak or nonexistent. Places like Mir Khan-Goth.
Riaz Haq said…
What would a climate-resilient Pakistan look like? Sindh offers clues.


https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2022/1206/What-would-a-climate-resilient-Pakistan-look-like-Sindh-offers-clues



“We didn’t turn to the government to take emergency action in the worst-affected areas. If anything it was the other way around,” says Mr. Baig. “They came to us when it became clear very quickly that the unprecedented needs for food, shelter, and health were beyond any one government’s or organization’s capabilities.”

Yet now as flood recovery gradually shifts to reconstruction and renewal, Mr. Baig says he sees few signs of planning or preparation for the national “build back better” project government officials have begun touting.

On the other hand, he says Alkhidmat has already developed a blueprint for a climate-resilient village, certain elements of which have been incorporated into their recent flood recovery projects.

The new village Alkhidmat envisions would have 32 houses, all built on high ground, with reinforced construction materials and elevated flooring. Each village will have a solar-powered water pump and purification system – the pumps being a favorite feature for women, whose traditional job is to carry water, often long distances, for cooking and cleaning.


Resilience through innovation

Another example of climate-crisis innovation is playing out farther north in Pakistan, where a relief organization established at the University of Lahore (UOL) is utilizing students’ talents and their familiarity with a wide range of communities across the country to take flood recovery and renewal to hard-to-reach areas.

“We realized when the floods came that here [at the university] we had not just the resources to help, but through our students the access to remote affected areas, the enthusiasm to help, and the variety of talents required to play a critical role in the recovery,” says Farah Mahmood, director of UOL Relief.

Thus students from the university’s medical and nursing schools and nutrition majors were called on to help out in the initial emergency phase. More recently, students in architecture, engineering, and technology are joining in to envision and develop climate-resistant housing, agriculture, roads, and water infrastructure.

“Our students are our strength and our secret ingredient,” says Ms. Mahmood.

Nasrullah Manjhoo is just one example of UOL Relief’s “secret ingredient.”

A physical therapy student from a remote area of Balochistan province, Mr. Manjhoo came to UOL Relief’s attention after he posted videos on Facebook of the devastation in his native region.

“I was surprised when I got a phone call from them, but when I realized it could help my village, I became enthusiastic,” says Mr. Manjhoo.

In exchange for help with access to an area traditionally suspicious of outsiders, Mr. Manjhoo was able to help set the priorities for UOL Relief’s intervention in his area. Those included food, water, emergency shelter, and a medical clinic.

Seventy percent of his area’s traditional mud-and-straw houses “disintegrated” in the endless rains, he says. So now architecture students are developing a sturdier model house using bamboo, reinforced clay, and tiles for roofing.

The flooding “was terrible for so many people in my area, but I think now we” – by which he means his partnership with UOL Relief – “can help bring a better future,” Mr. Manjhoo says.

Back in Gadap, that “better future” is already taking shape in new climate-resistant housing and the community’s first solar-powered lighting and water installations. Aisha Taj, a mother of five, proudly assembles her brood outside the cobalt blue house Alkhidmat recently built for her family. She says the house, built on a cement base with a roof designed not to retain water, is an example for the whole village of the progress coming from the tragedy of the flood.
Riaz Haq said…
What would a climate-resilient Pakistan look like? Sindh offers clues.


https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2022/1206/What-would-a-climate-resilient-Pakistan-look-like-Sindh-offers-clues


In exchange for help with access to an area traditionally suspicious of outsiders, Mr. Manjhoo was able to help set the priorities for UOL Relief’s intervention in his area. Those included food, water, emergency shelter, and a medical clinic.

Seventy percent of his area’s traditional mud-and-straw houses “disintegrated” in the endless rains, he says. So now architecture students are developing a sturdier model house using bamboo, reinforced clay, and tiles for roofing.

The flooding “was terrible for so many people in my area, but I think now we” – by which he means his partnership with UOL Relief – “can help bring a better future,” Mr. Manjhoo says.

Back in Gadap, that “better future” is already taking shape in new climate-resistant housing and the community’s first solar-powered lighting and water installations. Aisha Taj, a mother of five, proudly assembles her brood outside the cobalt blue house Alkhidmat recently built for her family. She says the house, built on a cement base with a roof designed not to retain water, is an example for the whole village of the progress coming from the tragedy of the flood.


Abdul Rahim, who is on the list for a new house, shares this hope as he invites a visitor to view his family’s destroyed house, an earthen shell with crumbling walls and no roof.

“We almost didn’t get out alive. Water and mud were coming from everywhere,” Mr. Rahim says. “What we are going to have soon will be much better.”
Riaz Haq said…
Eight million may still be exposed to Pakistan floodwaters: UN
Pakistan saw record floods this summer after heavy monsoon rains and melting glaciers submerged one-third of the country.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/12/7/8-million-still-potentially-exposed-to-pakistan-floodwaters-un

A United Nations report on Pakistan’s devastating floods says more than 240,000 people in the southern province of Sindh remain displaced while satellite images indicate about eight million are “still potentially exposed to floodwaters or living close to flooded areas”.

According to the situation report by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), released on Tuesday, at least 12 districts continue to report standing water, 10 of which are in Sindh and two in Balochistan.

Pakistan witnessed catastrophic floods this summer after heavy monsoon rains and melting glaciers submerged one-third of the country, killing more than 1,700 and affecting a total of 33 million people.

Houses, roads, bridges and rail networks were washed away, with the government estimating the total damage at more than $30bn.

The UN report says while receding water has allowed millions to return home, they continue to face acute shortages of essential items such as food and medicine. It adds that the flood-hit regions are now tackling health-related challenges, though the numbers are showing a declining trend.

Citing data from the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN report said cases of malaria have declined by 25 percent in Balochistan, 58 percent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 67 percent in Sindh since early September.

The report added that a high number of malaria and cholera cases are still being reported from Sindh and Balochistan provinces, highlighting the “underlying vulnerabilities” in those regions.

The UN report further said more than 600,000 children in Pakistan have not received a single polio vaccine because of a lack of access to areas devastated by the floods. Pakistan remains one of the two countries in the world, along with Afghanistan, that is yet to be declared polio free.

The report also highlighted the food security situation in Pakistan. Quoting figures from the World Food Programme (WFP), another UN body, it said the highest food-insecure population was recorded in Sindh (3.9 million) and Balochistan (1.6 million).

“Evidence from available data indicates that relief response to date has fallen well short of the need, with over 5.1 million people now experiencing IPC 4 conditions in flood-affected areas,” it said, adding that an additional 1.1 million could fall in the same category by early 2023.

The IPC acute food insecurity classification differentiates between different levels of food insecurity, with phase four denoting an emergency and five being a catastrophe or famine.

Farida Shaheed, a former Special Rapporteur for OCHA and an expert on rights-based development, told Al Jazeera the government’s emergency response after this year’s floods lacks a long-term approach.

“The scale of devastation is massive. It is not something that can be fixed in months or a year. People have lost their homes, their crops, their livestock, their means of livelihood. I have not seen anything by the government that is being done with a long-term approach,” she said.

“Perennial issues were accumulating and now they are all here. Devastation due to floods is far beyond the scope, but it was all a long time coming. Our development policies were not effective and we can now see the results.”

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Association Dubai to build model village for flood-hit victims

https://dailytimes.com.pk/1040828/pakistan-association-dubai-to-build-model-village-for-flood-hit-victims/

Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD), in collaboration with Al Khidmat Foundation, will build a model village in the Lasbela district of Pakistan’s Balochistan province for the flood-affected victims.

The village will consist of 64 houses, a medical dispensary, a mosque, a school, a playground and a park. It will consist of 16 clusters with each cluster having four houses, benefiting around 600 people from the Lasbela district, which was one of the worst affected areas in the recent floods.

The project will be powered by solar energy to provide clean water as well as sanitation and sewage facilities for the residents. The construction will begin on January 1, 2023, and is expected to complete by end of March.

Dr Faisel Ikram, president, Pakistan Association Dubai, urged the community to come forward and play their role in making this project a success.

“Earlier, when we launched this campaign, we envisioned building this model village. There were several paperwork and logistics which we had to ensure were well-aligned to help this project materialise. We remain grateful to Community Development Authority (CDA), the Dar Al Ber Society and the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities for their continuous efforts to facilitate our relief work. For donations, I request you to be a part of this noble cause,” said Dr Ikram.

Al Khidmat Pakistan, which supported PAD in its relief efforts during floods, will also help in the construction and completion of this multi-component project, Khaleej Times reported. Pakistan faced the worst floods in its history recently as hundreds of thousands of homes were damaged and many public health facilities, water systems and were damaged in the natural catastrophe.

Riaz Haq said…
UNICEF Pakistan Humanitarian Situation Report No. 8 (Floods): 15 December 2022

https://reliefweb.int/report/pakistan/unicef-pakistan-humanitarian-situation-report-no-8-floods-15-december-2022

Situation in Numbers

33 million
People affected by heavy rains and floods

9.6 million
Children in need of humanitarian assistance

20.6 million
People in need of humanitarian assistance

Pakistan Floods Response Plan 2022

Highlights

Around 5.4 million people remain displaced as per the latest available data. In some locations of Sindh province, and in parts of Balochistan, water has yet to recede and may remain for several months into the new year, protracting the dire humanitarian situation for people in these areas.

Based on damage severity, and propensity for severe cold weather, 35 districts across the country (14 of Sindh, 10 of Balochistan, 9 of KP and 2 of Punjab) have been identified as most exposed to difficult winter conditions.

Under the nutrition programme, a total of 58,530 severely wasted children (12,010 new) have been enrolled for treatment.

UNICEF has reached 1,053,429 people (193,852 new) with access to safe drinking water.

Through UNICEF health programme, 1,453,429 people benefitted from primary healthcare services and 1,059,092 (40,018 new) children have been immunized against measles.

UNICEF education programme has established 834 Temporary Learning Centers in Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh, and is supporting 101,222 children (743,008 new) via diverse modalities.

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

The humanitarian situation in Pakistan has deteriorated since the monsoon season due to unprecedented flooding, especially impacting already vulnerable populations. Compounded by the political volatility, economic deterioration, the residual impact of COVID-19 and the protracted nutrition emergency, with high rates of global acute malnutrition (on average 23 per cent in the districts most affected by floods), children have been pushed to the brink. During the monsoon season, rainfall was equivalent to nearly 2.9 times the national 30-year average, causing widespread flooding and landslides with severe repercussions for human lives, property, and infrastructure. An estimated 20.6 million people, including 9.6 million children, need humanitarian assistance. To date, 94 districts have been declared ‘calamity hit’ by the Government of Pakistan. Many of the hardest-hit districts are amongst the most vulnerable districts in Pakistan, where children already suffer from high malnutrition, poor access to water and sanitation, low school enrolment, and other deprivations.

In mountainous and high altitude areas of Pakistan, many also affected by the floods, have received snowfall and temperatures have fallen below 0 Celsius, particularly in the northern and northwestern parts of Pakistan including Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KP), Gilgit Baltistan (GB), Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK) and northern Balochistan. The coldest place in Pakistan usually are the glacial parts of GB, where in winters the average temperature remains below -20. Currently, as per Pakistan Metrological Department, mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country, while very cold weather is expected in northern areas of the country (KP, GB, and PAK) and northern Balochistan.
Riaz Haq said…
What would a climate-resilient Pakistan look like? Sindh offers clues.

https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2022/1206/What-would-a-climate-resilient-Pakistan-look-like-Sindh-offers-clues


When unrelenting flood waters hit the small, hardscrabble village of Mir Khan-Goth in Pakistan’s Sindh province last August, Seema had no idea how a life that had carried on in familiar patterns over many decades was about to change.

First, the powerful tide of earth-laden water carried away Seema’s daughter, who had ventured out into a thigh-high river to salvage any food she could at the outdoor kitchen. She would never return, leaving Seema, who offered only her first name, to care for her four grandchildren.

But the floods also left the family’s traditional thatched, one-room hut roofless and teetering – no match for the weeks on end of unprecedented rains that followed the floods. Scientists say that pattern is likely to repeat with climate change fueling increasingly extreme weather. Like more than half of the 50 thatched or earthen houses that made up Mir Khan-Goth before this year’s monsoon rains, Seema’s house was suddenly no longer a refuge, but a trap.

So it is some measure of progress that, despite the sadness and setbacks, Seema can now gather her grandchildren in a new thatched house. The dirt floor is on elevated ground, and the walls and roof are secured by bamboo pillars.

“There was so much loss, but we do have this,” she says as she motions inside the doorway of her new home, built by the Alkhidmat Foundation, a private Islamic charity with a long history of disaster intervention and recovery.

Across Mir Khan-Goth and the dozens of similar villages dotting the landscape of the Gadap region of Sindh north of Karachi, signs slowly sprout of recovery from Pakistan’s devastating floods of July and August. Goat herders – including the father of Seema’s grandchildren – are back in mud-caked fields, tending their shrunken flocks. Local men desperate to see transportation and deliveries resume have done what they can to patch up washed-out roads. Women have reassembled outdoor kitchens and banded together to stretch donated food supplies across their villages.

But with an already weak civilian government overwhelmed by the scale of the devastation, and the country’s powerful military ill-equipped to transition from emergency intervention to climate adaptation, nothing on the order of a national recovery project has yet to take shape. Instead, rebuilding efforts have been driven largely by local universities and nonprofits, such as Alkhidmat.

“Right now Pakistan is an example of climate crisis,” says Naveed Baig, director of Alkhidmat’s Sindh office in Karachi, “but I think if we can respond to the task before us and make a success of our national recovery, Pakistan can be a model for climate adaptation and resilience.”
Riaz Haq said…
What would a climate-resilient Pakistan look like? Sindh offers clues.

https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2022/1206/What-would-a-climate-resilient-Pakistan-look-like-Sindh-offers-clues


Pakistan consistently ranks in the top 10 of the world’s most climate-vulnerable countries. Not only is the interval between catastrophic monsoon seasons shrinking, but also rising temperatures are rapidly melting glaciers in the north. Karachi, a city of 15 million people, is considered by some experts the world’s most vulnerable major city.

At the same time, an international community distracted by rising global hunger and mounting climate catastrophes seems to have almost forgotten about Pakistan.

Just last month, United Nations officials relaunched pleas for emergency assistance for Pakistan, noting that the $816 million humanitarian appeal for Pakistan is barely one-fifth funded.


Some form of emergency food, shelter, and health care assistance has reached more than 4 million Pakistanis, according to U.N. officials. But with nearly one-fifth of the country affected by the flooding, and at least 5 million Pakistanis remaining displaced from homes and livelihoods as winter sets in, they say the crisis will only deepen without a quick turnaround in intervention.

In November, Pakistani officials did score what they say will be an important step forward when they led a successful campaign at the COP27 in Egypt for a wealthy-country-financed climate mitigation fund.

The fund, the details of which remain sketchy, would be designed to help developing countries like Pakistan that are increasingly prone to climate disasters build a more resilient future.

But as promising as the concept may be, it does nothing for the millions of Pakistanis now facing rising food insecurity, lost shelter, and disrupted livelihoods and education.

Increasingly, it is private Pakistani charities and a few innovative projects aimed at building back with more climate-resilient communities that are among the few bright spots on the country’s immediate bleak horizon.

When nonstop torrential rains beginning in July suggested this would be a monsoon like nothing in Pakistan’s experience, Alkhidmat swung into action in areas where it was already well implanted in development work – often areas where a government presence is weak or nonexistent. Places like Mir Khan-Goth.

“We didn’t turn to the government to take emergency action in the worst-affected areas. If anything it was the other way around,” says Mr. Baig. “They came to us when it became clear very quickly that the unprecedented needs for food, shelter, and health were beyond any one government’s or organization’s capabilities.”

Yet now as flood recovery gradually shifts to reconstruction and renewal, Mr. Baig says he sees few signs of planning or preparation for the national “build back better” project government officials have begun touting.

On the other hand, he says Alkhidmat has already developed a blueprint for a climate-resilient village, certain elements of which have been incorporated into their recent flood recovery projects.

The new village Alkhidmat envisions would have 32 houses, all built on high ground, with reinforced construction materials and elevated flooring. Each village will have a solar-powered water pump and purification system – the pumps being a favorite feature for women, whose traditional job is to carry water, often long distances, for cooking and cleaning.

Resilience through innovation
Another example of climate-crisis innovation is playing out farther north in Pakistan, where a relief organization established at the University of Lahore (UOL) is utilizing students’ talents and their familiarity with a wide range of communities across the country to take flood recovery and renewal to hard-to-reach areas.
Riaz Haq said…
What would a climate-resilient Pakistan look like? Sindh offers clues.

https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2022/1206/What-would-a-climate-resilient-Pakistan-look-like-Sindh-offers-clues


“We realized when the floods came that here [at the university] we had not just the resources to help, but through our students the access to remote affected areas, the enthusiasm to help, and the variety of talents required to play a critical role in the recovery,” says Farah Mahmood, director of UOL Relief.

Thus students from the university’s medical and nursing schools and nutrition majors were called on to help out in the initial emergency phase. More recently, students in architecture, engineering, and technology are joining in to envision and develop climate-resistant housing, agriculture, roads, and water infrastructure.

“Our students are our strength and our secret ingredient,” says Ms. Mahmood.

Nasrullah Manjhoo is just one example of UOL Relief’s “secret ingredient.”

A physical therapy student from a remote area of Balochistan province, Mr. Manjhoo came to UOL Relief’s attention after he posted videos on Facebook of the devastation in his native region.

“I was surprised when I got a phone call from them, but when I realized it could help my village, I became enthusiastic,” says Mr. Manjhoo.

In exchange for help with access to an area traditionally suspicious of outsiders, Mr. Manjhoo was able to help set the priorities for UOL Relief’s intervention in his area. Those included food, water, emergency shelter, and a medical clinic.

Seventy percent of his area’s traditional mud-and-straw houses “disintegrated” in the endless rains, he says. So now architecture students are developing a sturdier model house using bamboo, reinforced clay, and tiles for roofing.

The flooding “was terrible for so many people in my area, but I think now we” – by which he means his partnership with UOL Relief – “can help bring a better future,” Mr. Manjhoo says.

Back in Gadap, that “better future” is already taking shape in new climate-resistant housing and the community’s first solar-powered lighting and water installations. Aisha Taj, a mother of five, proudly assembles her brood outside the cobalt blue house Alkhidmat recently built for her family. She says the house, built on a cement base with a roof designed not to retain water, is an example for the whole village of the progress coming from the tragedy of the flood.

Abdul Rahim, who is on the list for a new house, shares this hope as he invites a visitor to view his family’s destroyed house, an earthen shell with crumbling walls and no roof.

“We almost didn’t get out alive. Water and mud were coming from everywhere,” Mr. Rahim says. “What we are going to have soon will be much better.”
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan to spend $3bn on flood recovery by end-June

https://www.dawn.com/news/1728956/pakistan-to-spend-3bn-on-flood-recovery-by-end-june

Having spent about $1.5 billion equivalent from its resources so far on flood rehabilitation, Pakistan would be seeking concessional loans from international development partners during the upcoming ‘donor conference’ in Geneva to build a resilient future with over $16bn worth of recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities.

Talking to journalists, Secretary Minis­try for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Syed Zafar Ali Shah said that the reconstruction and rehabilitation was an ongoing process and besides the about $1.5bn worth of expenditure so far, the spending on flood-hit areas would increase to $3bn by end of the current fiscal year.

About Rs400bn more will be spent till the end of 2022-23 in flood-hit areas for rehabilitation of infrastructure, agriculture and other sectors, he said.

“By June 30, we are planning to spend $2.5 to $3bn in the flood-hit areas from our resources and repurposing of loans”, he adds. The compensation amount, he said, was also being distributed through the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), he said.

Mr Shah said that according to estimates finalised in October through the support of international aid agencies, a total of $ 30.1bn in damages and economic losses had been caused by floods. The estimated needs for rehabilitation and reconstruction in a resilient way were put at least $16.3bn without including much-needed new investments beyond the affected assets to support Pakistan’s adaptation to climate change and overall resilience of the country to future climate shocks.

He said housing, agriculture and livestock and transport & communications sectors suffered the most during floods with their respective losses estimated at $5.6bn, $3.7bn and $3.3bn.

Sindh is the worst affected province with close to 70pc of total damages and losses, followed by Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

Giving a break-up, he said losses in Sindh stood at $20bn followed by $4bn in Balochistan and $700m each in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab and $5bn of inter-provincial infrastructure.

However, he said the damage assessment in Sindh and Balochistan was still in progress. Responding to a question he said, the utilisation of the Public Sector Development Programme had been very slow at about 14pc by the third week of December against the total allocations despite healthy authorisations.

He said the Planning Division had authorised Rs257bn so far for PSDP projects but the relevant agencies could utilise only Rs145bn against a PSDP budget of Rs727bn.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan struggles to recover from historic flooding as waters refuse to recede

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/pakistan-struggles-to-recover-from-historic-flooding-as-waters-refuse-to-recede


Months after historic flooding that killed more than 1,700 people, Pakistan is still struggling to recover. The UN is warning it might suspend its food support program for flood victims because it is running out of money. Fred de Sam Lazaro reports from Sindh, one of the hardest-hit provinces. This story is part of the series Agents for Change and produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.


Amna Nawaz:

Months after Pakistan's historic flooding that killed more than 1,700 people, the South Asian nation is still struggling to recover.

And the United Nations is warning it might soon have to suspend its food support program for flood victims because it's running out of money.

Fred de Sam Lazaro has the latest from one of the hardest-hit provinces of Sindh.

This story is produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center and part of Fred's series Agents for Change.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

Pakistan is no stranger to flooding. But, this time, the water never left. Huge swathes of land, farms and towns, remain underwater.

Four months after the flood, this school in the Dadu district, like so many others, remains inaccessible to students, its first floor still completely inundated. The building used to be surrounded by rice fields. It's now surrounded by a lake. The school community is now scattered among some of the five million people still living in flimsy shelters like these.

Sumar Machhi, Flood Victim (through translator):

Our house is broken. Our animal livestock has been lost. Our homes have collapsed. My son died. We have nothing. We're just sitting here helpless.

Farzana Machhi, Flood Victim (through translator):

Our house fell down. My brother died in the flood. He fell in the river and died.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

Scientists blame a cataclysmic combination of glacier melts and monsoon rains, both intensified by climate change. It poured without interruption for days in a row, overwhelming a country that was ill-prepared and under-resourced.

Simi Kamal, Hisaar Foundation:

When we have these climate calamities, everyone's affected, but women and children are affected in particular.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

Simi Kamal heads a Karachi-based foundation focused on development issues.

Simi Kamal:

In a society where social services are almost completely absent, and a lot of people survive on philanthropy and charity.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

The school in Dadu is one example, one of 1,800 run by a private charity called The Citizens Foundation. Before the flood, some 700 children attended the school. Now only about half the students have returned to a makeshift, mostly outdoor facility in a community center.

Shabroz Mirani, The Citizens Foundation (through translator):

The children are in extreme trauma. They're suffering from lots of difficulties. They don't have proper homes or food to achieve their goals.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

Principals Shabroz Mirani and Abrim Babar (ph) no longer have access to the library, school records or electricity, but they persist, trying to bring some stability to the children's lives.

How many children in the school today have eaten lunch?

Shabroz Mirani:

So, we have lots of — a lot of students that don't have — don't eat anything.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

Malnutrition is made that much worse by living conditions. Standing water has drowned crops and spawned pathogens. Malaria, dengue skin and diarrheal diseases have all soared.

About 500 children are brought into the pediatric emergency room at this hospital every single. That's more than double the number prior to the flood. And they are coming in far sicker.

This E.R. in the town of Larkana is run by the ChildLife Foundation, a separate charity that partners with struggling public hospitals to modernize pediatric emergency care across the country.

Riaz Haq said…
Mismanagement complicates Pakistan’s long recovery from deadly floods

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/mismanagement-complicates-pakistans-long-recovery-from-deadly-floods


Fred de Sam Lazaro:

For decades, Karachi has been a magnet for migrants from conflict and climate disasters. Decades ago, it ran out of room. Dotting the city's outskirts are clusters of ramshackle dwellings. These have stood since the 2010 floods.

Less than a mile away, crammed under high-voltage power lines, a 2022 wave of settlers.

Sikhandar Chandio, Flood Victim (through translator):

When the water came, it came all of a sudden at night. We just managed to get out with whatever we could and had to abandon our animals.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

Sikhandar Chandio and his wife, Sughra, were sharecropper farmers. They escaped with their four children, and were able to save one cow. They journeyed here on foot, which took a week.

Sughra Chandio, Flood Victim (through translator):

Everything was underwater. There were no facilities. There was no help, no food.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

Today, they rely on a patchwork of charities, everyone overwhelmed by what U.N. officials describe as one of the worst climate disasters on record, slamming a country that contributes less than 1 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.

Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistani Prime Minister (through translator):

We have mobilized every available resource towards the national relief effort, and repurposed all budget priorities.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

Pakistan took the lead at this year's COP 27 climate conference, helping to secure agreement on a loss and damage fund to help developing nations cope.

Just how those funds, if they appear, will be used is a concern.

Kaiser Bengali, Former Adviser, Pakistan Ministry of Planning and Development: But there is a fair amount of manmade responsibility for these floods, and politics plays a big part.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

Kaiser Bengali was a government adviser during the 2010 floods, Pakistan's worst until 2022.

Kaiser Bengali:

I think it is also important to see how this fund will be utilized and how it will be implemented and whether the sociopolitical structures and the planning structures that need to be changed, made more effective happens.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

The 1,800-mile-long Indus River, lifeblood of Pakistan's agriculture sector, has been extensively engineered with dams and canals, beginning during British colonial times and ramping up in the 1960s with loans and advisers from international lending agencies.

Has it been, in terms of food production, a reasonably good investment?

Kaiser Bengali:

Certainly. Lands where not even a blade of grass grew now produce two crops a year. It's just that one has to manage this better.

Ahmed Kamal, Chairman, Pakistan Federal Flood Commission:

Governance structure is not good.

Riaz Haq said…
Flooding triggers fresh migrations in Sindh
Thousands leave Dadu district as floodwaters surround Dadu city

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2376125/flooding-triggers-fresh-migrations-in-sindh


KARACHI:
Thousands of panicked citizens have left a densely-populated district in Pakistan, following a fresh spell of floods, adding to the growing number of displaced people, officials and local media reported on Sunday.

The Dadu district of Sindh province has been surrounded by floodwaters, leaving only one passage for the residents to leave the city as the water level in Manchar Lake, the country's largest freshwater body, is continuously rising.

Gushing floodwaters have washed away the first defence line of the city – home to over one million people – forcing the administration backed by the army troops to strengthen the remaining embankments, local media reported.

Footage aired on local TV channels showed thousands of stranded people lodged in tents or under open skies along the main highway that leads to Hyderabad, the second largest district of Sindh after Karachi.

Either side of the highway could be seen inundated in floodwaters for miles.

Another footage showed hundreds of flapped citizens, on mini trucks, wagons, and auto rickshaws, leaving the city. Many others along with their livestock were also spotted trudging along the road under the baking sun.

The huge flooding also forced the administration to shift nearly 400 prisoners from Dadu district jail to the Hyderabad prison.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah told reporters on Sunday that the rescue agencies are trying their best to save the city.

The recent downpours – 500% higher than average – and massive floods have left 125 million people homeless in Sindh alone, aside from causing a colossal loss of Rs350 billion ($1.5 billion) to agriculture and another Rs50 billion ($221 million) to the livestock.

The severity of the situation also prompted Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa to air dash to the literally besieged Dadu city on Saturday evening, directing the troops to accelerate the relief and rescue operations.
Riaz Haq said…
Donors pledge more than $10b to help Pakistan flood recovery: Official


https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/donors-pledge-more-than-10b-to-help-pakistan-flood-recovery-official

GENEVA - Pakistan said on Monday that donors have committed to give more than US$8 billion (S$10 billion) to help it recover from last year’s devastating floods in what is seen as a major test for who pays for climate disasters.

Officials from some 40 countries as well as private donors and international financial institutions are gathering for a meeting in Geneva as Islamabad seeks help covering around half of a total recovery bill of US$16.3 billion.

Waters are still receding from the floods caused by monsoon rains and melting glaciers which killed at least 1,700 people and displaced around 8 million.

Pakistan Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb sent a tweet saying that pledges have reached US$8.57 billion - more than it had initially sought.

Among the donors were the Islamic Development Bank (US$4.2 billion), the World Bank (US$2 billion), the Asian Development Bank (US$1.5 billion) as well as the European Union and China, she said.

France and the United States also made contributions.

Earlier, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for massive investments to help Pakistan recover from what he called a “climate disaster of monumental scale”.

“Pakistan is doubly victimised by climate chaos and a morally bankrupt global financial system,” he added. He later elaborated saying the current system is “biased” towards the rich countries who conceived it.

Additional funding is crucial to Pakistan amid growing concerns about its ability to pay for imports such as energy and food and to meet sovereign debt obligations abroad.

Pakistan’s finance minister is meeting an International Monetary Fund delegation on the sidelines of the Geneva meeting.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the country is committed to the IMF programme but that he is asking the IMF for “breathing space” to meet its commitments, without elaborating.

In comments to the conference earlier on Monday, Mr Sharif said Islamabad is willing to provide around half of the US$16.3 billion bill but wants donors to contribute the rest.

“I am asking for a new lifeline for people who need to power our economy and re-enter the 21st century with a future that is protected from such extreme risks to human security,” he said.

Millions of homes, tens of thousands of schools as well as thousands of kilometres of roads and railways still need to be rebuilt, the UN says.

Efforts to secure funding for the initial emergency phase of the disaster response were disappointing with a humanitarian aid package of US$816 million less than half funded , UN data showed.

United Nations’ Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner said the next phase of the Pakistan response represents a “monumental moment of reckoning for the entire world”. REUTERS
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Receives $10 Billion Commitment for Devastating Floods
Fundraising exceeded $8 billion that prime minister sought
Floods killed more than 1,700 people and cut growth by half

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-01-09/pakistan-seeks-8-billion-to-rebuild-after-devastating-floods

Pakistan has received commitments for more than $10 billion from the global community that it requested at a conference in Geneva to help the country rebuild houses and farms along with rehabilitating people impacted by floods.

That exceeded the $8 billion over three years that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had sought.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan is at risk of default
A balance of payments crisis is tipping a fragile economy over the edge


https://www.economist.com/asia/2023/02/07/pakistan-is-at-risk-of-default

The floods and job losses are thought to have pitched between 8.4m and 9.1m more people into poverty, mostly in the countryside. In Dadu, an especially inundated district of Sindh, thousands are still languishing in tents. “Only those who had savings or outside help can afford to fix their houses”, says Rasheed Jamali, an aid worker. Foreign donors pledged $9bn in relief in January; less than $800m of a previous set of pledges had at that time arrived. With only half of Pakistan’s soggy fields sufficiently recovered to sow with winter wheat, much of the country is facing another lost harvest.

These political, economic and environmental crises are mutually reinforcing. Payments from the bailout programme agreed in 2019 were suspended a year ago after Mr Khan, facing a growing prospect of parliamentary defeat and ejection from office, reintroduced fuel subsidies. Mr Sharif’s government vowed to fulfil the fund’s conditions but backtracked in September when, panicked by the floods, it sacked Miftah Ismail, its pragmatic finance minister. His successor reversed some of his policies, prompting another suspension of payouts. “If the floods hadn’t happened I might have kept the job and we might have been OK,” Mr Ismail says.

Mr Sharif’s government seems to be bowing to the inevitable. In late January it stopped trying to prop up the rupee and raised fuel prices, as the imf had requested. If the current negotiations in Islamabad unlock the bailout funds, it might encourage other external creditors to extend credit lines or defer payments on existing loans. Unlike Sri Lanka, which owed a higher percentage of its debt to foreign creditors, Pakistan may be able to stabilise its position without its creditors being forced to accept a “haircut”.

Yet any relief is likely to be temporary. The current imf programme expires in June; Mr Sharif’s term will expire in August. A caretaker administration will then preside over what promises to be a two-month political vacuum before the scheduled elections. They will be messy. It is hard to think of Pakistan in such circumstances carrying out the additional reforms, including raising taxes and electricity tariffs, required to secure more imf funding. They would inflict more short-term pain on the country’s wretched people than even an astute Pakistani government might dare to. And especially if Mr Khan, currently nursing his wounds after a failed assassination attempt, has his way, the next government may be even worse than the current one.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani villages recover slowly from epic floods


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/03/03/pakistan-punjab-flood-recovery/

With houses still damaged and water scarce, farm families in south Punjab tend surviving animals and parched fields

RAJANPUR, Pakistan — Cradling his infant son in one arm, a village farmer brought out a wooden trough he had nailed together from broken boards. His brother poured grain into it. Hearing the sound, the family cow trotted across the yard and buried her nose in the feed. The little boy waved his arms, and everyone laughed.

Rajanpur, a rural district of southwestern Punjab province, sits at the edge of a vast fertile belt that has long been known as the breadbasket of Pakistan, growing much of its wheat, sugar, feed corn and cotton, as well as mangoes and green vegetables.

But seven months after the Indus River overflowed its banks and the picturesque Sulaiman Hills unleashed torrents of water amid heavy monsoon rains, decimated farm communities are still recovering from Pakistan’s worst natural disaster since its founding in 1947. Nationwide, more than 1,700 people died and over 30 million were displaced. More than a million farm animals also perished, swept away in fast waters or succumbing to hunger and cold.

In another hamlet nearby, two men on motorbikes unloaded heavy metal containers full of water, which they had filled at a town pump several miles away. Since the floods, the local water has remained too salty for either humans or farm animals to drink.

“It’s going to take a long time before things recover here,” said Mohammed Ali, a day laborer in his 40s who helps fetch the containers every morning. “It’s still hard to grow anything on the land. People have lost their homes and their belongings. But at least this way they can have some sweet water in the morning.”

Although most of the flooding affected other provinces, Rajanpur and next-door Dera Ghazi Khan were among 84 districts across the country to be declared “national calamity” areas. In Rajanpur alone, according to news reports and officials, 12 people were killed — including a woman bitten by a cobra that washed down from the hills. Another 3,000 were injured, 300,000 acres of cropland were ruined and 28,000 houses were damaged or destroyed, along with 425 schools, 16 hospitals and numerous bridges.

On a recent visit to several villages, the only access was along narrow, raised dirt tracks between endless fields. The surrounding landscape looked as if a tornado had roared through it erratically, leaving a few areas lush and green but turning many others into barren, lifeless patches of cracked brown earth that no ordinary plow could till.

Along the way, large puddles of dirty brown water sat stagnant, covered with green scum. A few sandpipers scuttled around the edges — shorebirds from afar that had arrived with the floods and remained behind afterward for reasons of their own.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani villages recover slowly from epic floods


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/03/03/pakistan-punjab-flood-recovery/


As the villages came into view, they appeared grim and silent at first. Many mud-brick houses and farm sheds were still in ruins. Roofs were missing, doorways were hung with tarps or jute tents, and piles of nearby rubble had not been moved. Children and baby goats scampered in dirt yards, but little else seemed to be happening.

Under a shady tree, Mohammad Asghar, 35, was tending to his most valuable possession, a brown and white dairy cow named Honesty. Unlike many of his skeptical neighbors, he had planned ahead when the first flood warnings came, walking her to a high paved road before the water rose and taking a supply of fodder as well. “I wanted to make sure nothing happened to her,” he said. “She gives me 3.5 liters [about a gallon] of milk every day.”

Planting and tending new crops, however, has proved to be far more challenging. Most of the farmers’ stored seeds and tools were washed away or ruined. The surrounding cropland was submerged for several months afterward, leaving a soggy, useless mess.

A variety of government and private agencies have brought help to the area since the floods, but the bulk of it was devoted to initial emergency rescues. As in many other parts of Pakistan, thousands of Rajanpur residents fled their flooded villages or were evacuated in boats, then marooned for weeks on elevated paved roads. Aid teams provided tents and blankets, food and water, medical and veterinary services, and other immediate needs.

“Our first priority was to save lives,” said Mohsin Issaq, the south Punjab coordinator for a private charity called Muslim Hands, which delivered food, supplies and medical aid to more than 14,000 stranded people. Now that most have returned home, he said, the group is focusing on permanent needs to sustain farming and daily life, such as water pumps and desalination kits. It also offers families a Quran if theirs was washed away or damaged. Every home needs to have one, he said. “It is an important cultural value.”

But long-term support for farm rehabilitation across millions of unusable acres is far more expensive than emergency food and medicine, and the floods struck at a time when Pakistan was already facing a long list of economic woes — rampant inflation, dwindling foreign reserves, record-low currency rates, and a heavy foreign debt burden that raised the prospect of financial default.

One estimate by Pakistani and U.N. officials put the total costs for flood damage recovery and reconstruction at $16.3 billion. Early international response was low, in part because of reports of aid misuse during Pakistan’s last major floods, in 2010. A conference in Geneva in January, however, donors from 40 countries and institutions, including the European Union, the United States and Saudi Arabia, pledged over $9 billion to help Pakistan recover from the floods, exceeding its request for $8 billion.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani villages recover slowly from epic floods


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/03/03/pakistan-punjab-flood-recovery/



Still, Abid Qaiyum Suleri, an environmental expert in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, noted in an essay in the News newspaper in January that millions of poor people in flood-affected areas feel “as helpless today … as they were yesterday,” with their land useless, their homes still in ruins and scant prospects for the future. Physical reconstruction, he added, “is only part of what is required for a dignified recovery for flood survivors.”

One determined farmer in Rajanpur, a man in his 60s named Hamidullah, decided to take a chance two months ago and plant wheat on his four acres of land. He said he felt lucky because he and his wife and children had been saved from the flood by clinging to their large male buffalo, who was heavy and able to swim through the rushing water to higher ground.

“I used to grow cotton and rice, but none of that can grow here now. The land is too dry and they need a lot of water,” he said. He pointed to his small patch of emerald green outside the village, surrounded by larger, barren ground. “So far it is coming along,” he said. “We lost everything; our beds, our cooking pots, our clothes. But we survived, because of our buffalo,” he said. “If this wheat crop does well, maybe I can rebuild our house.”
Riaz Haq said…
UNICEF Pakistan Humanitarian Situation Report No. 10 (Floods): 28 February 2023

https://reliefweb.int/report/pakistan/unicef-pakistan-humanitarian-situation-report-no-10-floods-28-february-2023


Moving into 2023, urgent and significant humanitarian needs remain which require continued focus and support, even as reconstruction and rehabilitation begin under the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and Resilient, Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Framework (4RF).

The 2022 flood was equivalent to nearly 2.9 times the national 30-year average – and a combination of riverine, urban, and flash flooding led to a record flood in which 94 districts were declared calamity-hit. The widespread flooding and landslides resulted in major losses of human lives and damage to property and infrastructure. Around 33 million people were affected, nearly 8 million people were reportedly displaced, and as per UN Satellite Centre imagery around 4.5 million people are still exposed to or living close to flood water. As per the last NDMA situation report, 1,739 people lost their lives (of which 647 were children), 12,867 were injured (including 4,006 children) and more than 2.28 million houses were damaged (partially damaged: 1,391,467 and fully damaged: 897,014).

An estimated 20.6 million people, including 9.6 million children, need humanitarian assistance. Many of the hardest-hit districts are amongst the most vulnerable districts in Pakistan, where children already suffer from high malnutrition, poor access to water and sanitation, low school enrolment, and other deprivations. Moreover, the effects of the floods have worsened pre-existing vulnerabilities to key child-protection issues and gender-based violence (GBV). Children, particularly those living in poverty, are at a higher risk of being forced into child labour, child marriage and violence. The affected area in need of community-based psychosocial support and specialized interventions. As per the PDNA, beyond the increase in monetary poverty, estimates indicate an increase in multidimensional poverty from 37.8 per cent to 43.7 per cent, meaning that an additional 1.9 million households will be pushed into non-monetary poverty. This entails significantly increased deprivations around access to adequate health, sanitation, quality maternal health care, electricity, and loss of assets. Multidimensional poverty will increase by 13 percentage points in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), followed by 10.9 in Balochistan, and 10.2 in Sindh province.

As per the latest available reports, more than 5.4 million people do not have access to safe or potable water in flood-affected districts. An estimated 1.1 million people are at risk of sliding from acute food and livelihood crisis (IPC3) situations to humanitarian emergency (IPC4) food security situations due to insufficient support. Malaria outbreaks have been reported in at least 12 districts of Sindh and Balochistan. Over 7 million children and women need immediate access to nutrition services. An estimated 3.5 million children, especially girls, are at high risk of permanent school dropouts.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani Village Seen as Model of Climate Resilience (designed by Architect Yasmeen Lari_

https://www.voanews.com/a/pakistani-village-seen-as-model-of-climate-resilience/7031776.html


The village of Pono in Pakistan's southern Sindh province is so small it’s difficult to find on Google maps, but it’s still getting international attention. That’s because the village is designed to show how communities that are most vulnerable to climate change can become climate resilient and self-sustaining using old techniques. VOA's Pakistan Bureau Chief Sarah Zaman visited Pono and brings this report.
Riaz Haq said…
Yasmeen Lari, 'starchitect' turned social engineer wins one of architecture's most coveted prizes - CNN Style



https://www.cnn.com/style/article/yasmeen-lari-riba-royal-gold-medal/index.html

The Royal Gold Medal is awarded to a person (or group of people) who has had "significant influence on the advancement of architecture" and, RIBA says, "acknowledges Yasmeen Lari's work championing zero-carbon self-build concepts for displaced populations."

Yasmeen Lari, widely recognised as Pakistan's first female architect, has become the first woman since Zaha Hadid to win the prestigious Royal Gold Medal, awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Lari, described by RIBA as "a revolutionary force in Pakistan," was recognized for the socially conscious work, creating accessible, environmentally friendly homes for the country's most marginalized people — those living below the poverty line and in communities displaced by natural disasters and the impact of climate change.
The Royal Gold Medal is awarded to a person (or group of people) who has had "significant influence on the advancement of architecture" and, RIBA says, "acknowledges Yasmeen Lari's work championing zero-carbon self-build concepts for displaced populations."

The award is personally approved by the British monarch and this year's is the first to be signed off by King Charles III.

"I was so surprised to hear this news and of course totally delighted! I never imagined that as I focus on my country's most marginalised people — venturing down uncharted vagabond pathways — I could still be considered for the highest of honours in the architectural profession," Lari said in a statement. "There are innumerable opportunities to implement principles of circular economy, de-growth, transition design, eco-urbanism, and what we call Barefoot Social Architecture (BASA) to achieve climate resilience, sustainability and eco justice in the world."
Born in Pakistan in 1941, Lari studied at Oxford Brookes University before returning to Pakistan in 1964 where she overcame "considerable challenges" to establish Lari Associates, her own architecture firm, creating glitzy buildings for major government, business, and financial institutions. But she developed a deepening sense of guilt over the amount of concrete and steel used, and has said she has been "atoning" ever since, now working to a mantra of "low cost, zero carbon, zero waste."

Riaz Haq said…
The octogenarian architect (Yasmeen Lari) working to flood-proof Pakistan - Digital Journal


https://www.digitaljournal.com/world/the-octogenarian-architect-working-to-flood-proof-pakistan/article

At 82 years old, architect Yasmeen Lari is forging the way in fortifying Pakistan’s rural communities living on the frontline of climate change.

Lari, Pakistan’s first woman architect, has ditched a lifetime of multi-million dollar projects in the megacity of Karachi to develop pioneering flood-proof bamboo houses.

The few pilot settlements already constructed are credited with saving families from the worst of the catastrophic monsoon flooding that put a third of the country underwater last year.

“We continued to live in them,” said Khomo Kohli, a 45-year-old resident of Pono Colony village, which is a few hundred kilometres outside of Karachi.

“The rest of the residents had to move onto the road where they lived for two months until the water receded.”

Now, Lari is campaigning to scale up the project to one million houses made from affordable local materials, bringing new jobs to the most vulnerable areas.

“I call it a kind of co-building and co-creation, because the people have an equal part in embellishing it and making it comfortable for themselves,” she said.

The architect, who trained in the United Kingdom, is behind some of Karachi’s most notable buildings, including brutalist constructions such as the Pakistan State Oil headquarters, as well as a string of luxury homes.

As she was considering retirement, a series of natural disasters — including a massive 2005 earthquake and 2010 floods — stiffened her resolve to continue working with her Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, which manages her rural projects.

“I had to find the solution, or find a way by which I could build up the capacities of people so that they could fend for themselves, rather than waiting for outside help,” she told AFP.

“My motto is zero carbon, zero waste, zero donor, which I think leads to zero poverty,” she said.

– Traditional techniques –

Climate change is making monsoon rains heavier and more unpredictable, scientists say, raising the urgency to flood-proof the country — particularly as the poorest live in the most vulnerable areas.

Pakistan, with the world’s fifth-largest population, is responsible for less than one percent of global greenhouse gas emissions but is one of the nations most vulnerable to the effects of extreme weather.

Pono Colony, with around 100 houses, was developed just months before catastrophic monsoon rains arrived last summer and displaced eight million people.

The village’s elevated homes are protected from rushing water, while their bamboo skeletons — pierced deep into the ground — can withstand pressure without being uprooted.

Known locally as “chanwara”, the mud huts are an improved take on the traditional single-room houses dotted along the landscape of southern Sindh province and Rajasthan state in India.

They require only locally available materials: lime, clay, bamboo and thatching. With straightforward training to locals, they can be assembled at a cost of around $170 — around an eighth of the cost of a cement and brick house.

In rural Sindh, tens of thousands of people are still displaced and stagnant water stands in large parts of farmland almost a year after the country’s worst-ever floods.

The World Bank and Asian Development Bank in a joint study estimated Pakistan sustained $32 billion in damage and economic losses and would require $16 billion for reconstruction and rehabilitation.

– Royal recognition –

Lari recalls working on social housing in Lahore in the 1970s, when local women pored over her plans and probed her on where their chickens would live.

“Those chickens have really remained with me, the women’s needs are really the uppermost when I’m designing,” she said.

This time around, the redesign of traditional stoves has become a significant feature — now lifted off the floor.
Riaz Haq said…
The 82-year-old female architect working to flood-proof Pakistan

https://www.aljazeera.com/gallery/2023/5/24/the-82-year-old-female-architect-working-to-flood-proof-pakistan

Yasmeen Lari, the country’s first female architect, is making bamboo houses for people living on the front lines of climate change.


At 82, architect Yasmeen Lari is forging a path in fortifying Pakistan’s rural communities living on the front lines of climate change.

Lari, Pakistan’s first female architect, ditched a lifetime of multimillion-dollar projects in the megacity of Karachi to develop pioneering flood-proof bamboo houses.

The few pilot settlements already constructed are credited with saving families from the worst of the catastrophic monsoon flooding that put a third of the country underwater last year.

“We continued to live in them,” said Khomo Kohli, a 45-year-old resident of Pono Colony village, located a few hundred kilometres outside of Karachi.

“The rest of the residents had to move onto the road where they lived for two months until the water receded.”

Now, Lari is campaigning to scale up the project to one million houses made from affordable local materials, bringing new jobs to the most vulnerable areas.


“I call it a kind of co-building and co-creation because the people have an equal part in embellishing it and making it comfortable for themselves,” she said.

The architect, who trained in the United Kingdom, is behind some of Karachi’s most notable buildings, including brutalist constructions such as the Pakistan State Oil headquarters, as well as a string of luxury homes.

As she was considering retirement, a series of natural disasters – including a massive 2005 earthquake and 2010 floods – stiffened her resolve to continue working with her Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, which manages her rural projects.

“I had to find the solution, or find a way by which I could build up the capacities of people so that they could fend for themselves, rather than waiting for outside help,” she told AFP news agency.

------

Lari recalls working on social housing in Lahore in the 1970s when local women pored over her plans and probed her on where their chickens would live.

“Those chickens have really remained with me, the women’s needs are really the uppermost when I am designing,” she said.

This time around, the redesign of traditional stoves has become a significant feature – now lifted off the floor.

“Earlier, the stove would have been on the ground level and so it was immensely unhygienic. The small children would burn themselves on the flames, stray dogs would lick pots and germs would spread,” said Champa Kanji, who has been trained by Lari’s team to build stoves for homes across Sindh.

“Seeing women becoming independent and empowered gives me immense pleasure,” Lari said.

Lari’s work has been recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects, which awarded her the 2023 Royal Gold Medal for her dedication to using architecture to change people’s lives.

Popular posts from this blog

Pakistani Women's Growing Particpation in Workforce

Bill Gates and BMW Back Pakistani-American Mujeeb Ijaz's Battery Startup

Pakistan's Saadia Zahidi Leads World Economic Forum's Gender Parity Effort