Thursday, September 22, 2022

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"


Terry A. said...

Do we know how much money & help Pakistan has received from the Saudis , UAE , Dubai & Kuwait
Thus far ?

Riaz Haq said...

Terry: "Do we know how much money & help Pakistan has received from the Saudis , UAE , Dubai & Kuwait"

Gulf Arabs are the leading donors of relief aid to Pakistan flood victims so far

Terry A. said...

That is great ……. But not publicized at all in the USA or BBC press news media

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)

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.

Z Basha said...

UN is a very beauracratic setup.. Staff paid $ salaries.. PR consultants spinning stories.. translators.. extreme overheads... No accountability on $ received vs $ spent on beneficiaries....

Pakistan is better off handling the aid money directly...

Riaz Haq said...

Z Basha: "UN is a very beauracratic setup.. Staff paid $ salaries.. PR consultants spinning stories.. translators.. extreme overheads... No accountability on $ received vs $ spent on beneficiaries....Pakistan is better off handling the aid money directly..."

I disagree. UN agencies like UNICEF, World Health Organization and World Food Program have a lot of expertise and deliver excellent service to the people in need. I trust them more than I trust Pakistani government agencies.

Z Basha said...

Agree to disagree. Talk to some insiders please..

Riaz Haq said...

Saeed Shah
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


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

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

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.

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."

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan battles disease surge as flood deaths surpass 1,600
By MUNIR AHMED Associated Press SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 — 12:40PM

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...

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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.


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.


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).


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...

#Bangladesh PM denounces 'tragedy' of rich nations on #climate."The rich countries, the developed countries, this is their responsibility. They should come forward. But we are not getting that much response from them. That is the tragedy" #Floods #Pakistan

NEW YORK: A country of fertile, densely populated deltas, low-lying Bangladesh is among the most vulnerable nations in the world to climate change.

But the urgency of the situation is not being matched by actions of countries responsible for emissions, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said.

"They don't act. They can talk but they don't act," she told AFP on a visit to New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

"The rich countries, the developed countries, this is their responsibility. They should come forward. But we are not getting that much response from them. That is the tragedy," she said.

"I know the rich countries; they want to become more rich and rich. They don't bother for others."

Bangladesh has produced a miniscule amount of the greenhouse gas emissions that have already contributed to the warming of the planet by an average of nearly 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The Paris accord called for US$100 billion a year by 2020 from wealthy nations to help developing nations cope with climate change. That year, US$83.3 billion was committed, including through private sources, according to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development figures.

One key issue facing the next UN climate summit, to take place in Egypt in November, is whether wealthy nations also need to pay for losses and damages from climate change - not just to pay for adaptation and mitigation.

"We want that fund to be raised. Unfortunately we didn't get a good response from the developed countries," Hasina said.

"Because they are the responsible ones for these damages, they should come forward," the 74-year-old added.

Wealthy nations have agreed only to discuss the loss and damage issue through 2024.

This year's General Assembly featured repeated calls for climate justice. The leader of tiny Vanuatu urged an international treaty against fossil fuels while the prime minister of Pakistan warned that floods that have swamped one-third of his country could happen elsewhere.


"Local people also suffer a lot," Hasina said. "I can't say that they're angry, but they feel uncomfortable."

"All the burden is coming upon us. This is a problem."

The Rohingya refugees, who are mostly Muslim, live largely in ramshackle camps with tarpaulins, sheet metal and bamboo.

Bachelet on her visit said there was no prospect of sending them back to Buddhist-majority, military-run Myanmar, where the Rohingya are not considered citizens.

But in her interview, Hasina signalled that there were few options other than for the Rohingya to reside in camps.

"It is not possible for us to give them an open space because they have their own country. They want to go back there. So that is the main priority for everybody," Hasina said.

"If anybody wants to take them, they can take them," she added. "Why should I object?"

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 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

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

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.”

Ahmed said...

Dear Sir

It is true that Saudia Arab and other Arab countries have tried to help Pakistan when ever its people were in crisis but did these Arab countries ever try to help Pakistan economically ?

How many Arab countries have spent their money on health and education in Pakistan ?

Riaz Haq said...

These bamboo shelters are empowering communities displaced by Pakistan's floods

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

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.

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.