The Pakistan floods: Now is the time to act

Daniel Rostrup

Flooding in Pakistan has wrought havoc on an already struggling country and its people. If the world fails to help, it will get even worse.

The recent floods in Pakistan have caused catastrophic loss of life as well as damage of epic proportions. Over 1,700 people have been killed according to reports which are certainly an underestimate, 33 million have been displaced from their homes, a third of the country is under water and damage is an estimated $40 billion. How can we as individuals, companies, civil society and philanthropic institutions come together to bring dignity back to the millions whose lives have been upended? What is needed to mitigate the next disaster?

Not enough dry land to bury the dead

The numbers are as stunning as the stories from the frontline are heartbreaking. ‘People don’t even have dry land to bury their loved ones,’ says Areebah Shahid, Executive Director at Pakistan Youth Change Advocates (PYCA). ‘A huge amount of the population has been uprooted, infrastructure destroyed, the roads are gone, hospitals, schools, everything washed away, the region has sunk into debris.’ says Mukhdoom Mashood Ahmed Siddiqui, of AgReCir. Among the more obvious health consequences,’ We are now seeing a surge in water-borne diseases, like dengue, as well as skin diseases, malaria, diarrhoea and snake bites’ notes Imran Asghar, Director South Asia at The Sourcery.

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