Saturday, September 3, 2022

Climate Change: Pakistan Requires Massive Assistance to Recover From Catastrophic Floods

Pakistan is dealing with the aftermath of the worst floods in the country's history.  Over a thousand 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. This is a massive humanitarian crisis. Pakistan can not deal with it alone.

Pakistan Flood 2022 Map. Source: DW

Satellite Image of Qambar, Sindh Before/After Floods 2022. Source: NASA

Satellite Image of Shikarpur, Sindh Before/After Floods 2022. Source: NASA




Balochistan and Sindh Worst Affected by Monsoon22. Source: The Economist

Pakistan's population is about 2.6% of the world population. The nation contributes less than 1% of the global carbon emissions. 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.  The following map from Professor Jason Hickel shows 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
Average Annual Cost of Floods in Vulnerable Countries. Source: Bloomberg


Comparison of 2022 and 2010 Floods in Pakistan. Source: WWF

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 


All Pakistanis and non-Pakistanis need to pitch in with donations to help finance immediate disaster relief activities. Beyond that, Pakistan will have to be helped by international experts to build disaster preparedness capacity. The new housing and infrastructure will have to be funded and built to ensure its resilience in future climate disasters which are likely to occur more often with greater intensity. There is an urgent  need to prepare western and multilateral financial institutions to deal with such climate catastrophes in developing nations. Mechanisms also need to be put in place to provide and manage funding of these projects in a transparent manner. 

93 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

IK: "why we did not use floods to increase our underground water level ?"

A significant amount of the flood water is being absorbed into the ground and the underground aquifers are being charged. Groundwater is visible in the NASA satellite images below:

https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEi6mlp8lNa0IMHVBB9cJb3a9ZzU80suygi3awVcT8q934kr_jOMwjPmA9CDxEgIs0Pbkz_UxClGAZHPXdwHDAPWKovi1W5MvLDk0J67rq3QivLYUxmaDQVa32Ulkm90QozjCNDYUr5U2X0iaqGlqb14vnoXKVWwX58DD-IflAJ3k3bKjpdWHkgmGZufyQ/s3300/NASA%20Groundwater%20Map%20August%202022.PNG

Rashid A. said...

Riaz Sahib

Pakistani elites themselves have to decide, to make flood control a priority.

Floods are nothing new. Yet, what does Pakistan has to show for flood control measures.

Flood Control planning is just on paper. Nothing more. NDMA is utterly useless. It did nothing during extreme snow fall in Murree last winter. It did not do much during these floods.

What happened to the money that was donated after Super Floods of 2010?
Pakistani rulers, opposition and elites are busy in Games of Thrones while the poor are drowning.

Begging the world is not a plan.

Given the magnitude of flood, any flood control arrangements would have been ineffective, but yet not having any rudimentary flood control system is tragic.

NESPAK prepared a comprehensive plan for flood control sometime back but it was never implemented.

World will help, if Pakistan is serious.

Shams N. said...

I have personally seen the floods in 1959 when Teen Hatti Lyari bridge submerged under the flood waters. The floods of 1973, 1983, 1992, 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2019 - were no less damaging.

Heavy rains are not solely the events with Sindh & Balochistan causing damage. La Nina is a process that nearly all tropical areas on this planet sees. The 2022 months before the monsoon were very hot, and when that happens, rain comes. According to a New York Times report that relied on Columbia Climate School research, the year 2010 floods had far more losses of: human fatalities (180% in 2010 compared with 2022), people displaced (200% in 2010), homes destroyed (600%), and financial damage (30% more in 2010).

Majumdar said...

This charging of aquifers will certainly help agri production going forward. However, a point to be noted is that farmers, especially small farmers have had their capital wiped out in this tragedy. Someone will have to fund the working capital needs- seeds, fertiliser etc for coming crops. Pak govt and the civil society and the world at large must come forward.

Rashid A. said...

Plz see the following article.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1708344

Riaz Haq said...

Rashid A: "Plz see the following article"


I agree that the Pakistani leadership is not blameless but I also think the root cause of these disasters is climate change which has been brought about the rich industrialized West.

I’m arguing that the US and Europe need to step up to help the global south cope with the consequences of their actions.

https://twitter.com/haqsmusings/status/1566471134672850945?s=21&t=iaRzPZR5mPaXQ8qMRtsPew

Riaz Haq said...

Riaz Sahib

Point well taken.

I studied the two maps.

There is no debate that developed nations are the main source of pollution and emissions.


Map of ND -GAIN
Multidimensional Climate Vulnerability Index.

It is based on two things:
Readiness Index
Vulnerability Index.

Readiness Index considers 3 factors:
Economic
Governance
Social

Vulnerability Index considers the following:

Exposure
Sensitivity
Adaptive Capacity

Out of all of these only the Exposure is dependent upon emissions, pollution etc.

All of the rest are society’s own strengths or weaknesses. They are not caused by Developed or Polluting nations (unless one subscribes to Conspiracy theory.).

While those who pollute should take responsibility, it is an uphill task.

In the mean time what measures does Pakistan have in place for disasters that occur WITHOUT Climate change considerations?

Pakistan’s argument would ring more solid if it were to show how much progress the country has made but still the floods were beyond a credible magnitude. So the world should help.

Same lack of interest is evident in Earthquake Emergency preparedness.

Earthquakes are not triggered by climate change.

Please see:
https://gain.nd.edu/our-work/country-index/methodology/


In any case, it is what it is.

Regards,

Rashid Ahmad

Riaz Haq said...

Rashid: "Earthquakes are not triggered by climate change.....They are not caused by Developed or Polluting nations (unless one subscribes to Conspiracy theory.)"


Climate change is a unique global challenge that far exceeds the capacity of most countries of the world, particularly developing countries like Pakistan. 

Unlike earthquakes, climate change is a man-made disaster. 

It requires a concerted international response led by the rich industrialized West that is largely responsible for creating it. 

Riaz Haq said...

Mehdi Hasan
@mehdirhasan
"Cancel Pakistan's debt... We have so much debt towards the people that are responsible for [exacerbating the floods]... so we need to clear that, otherwise people will starve.”

@BhuttoZulfikar
to me on, the responsibility for climate change, on
@MSNBC
:

https://twitter.com/mehdirhasan/status/1566630478911774721?s=20&t=Cx2gHLz30PVFMD-yv37RRw

Riaz Haq said...

The devastating floods in Pakistan are a "wake-up call" to the world on the threats of climate change, experts have said.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-62758811

The record-breaking rain would devastate any country, not just poorer nations, one climate scientist has told BBC News.

The human impacts are clear - another 2,000 people were rescued from floodwaters on Friday, while ministers warn of food shortages after almost half the country's crops were washed away.

A sense of injustice is keenly felt in the country. Pakistan contributes less than 1% of the global greenhouse gases that warm our planet but its geography makes it extremely vulnerable to climate change.

"Literally, one-third of Pakistan is underwater right now, which has exceeded every boundary, every norm we've seen in the past," Climate minister Sherry Rehman said this week.

Pakistan is located at a place on the globe which bears the brunt of two major weather systems. One can cause high temperatures and drought, like the heatwave in March, and the other brings monsoon rains.

The majority of Pakistan's population live along the Indus river, which swells and can flood during monsoon rains.

The science linking climate change and more intense monsoons is quite simple. Global warming is making air and sea temperatures rise, leading to more evaporation. Warmer air can hold more moisture, making monsoon rainfall more intense.

Scientists predict that the average rainfall in the Indian summer monsoon season will increase due to climate change, explains Anja Katzenberger at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

But Pakistan has something else making it susceptible to climate change effects - its immense glaciers.

The northern region is sometimes referred to as the 'third pole' - it contains more glacial ice than anywhere in the world outside of the polar regions.

As the world warms, glacial ice is melting. Glaciers in Pakistan's Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa regions are melting rapidly, creating more than 3,000 lakes, the the UN Development Programme told BBC News. Around 33 of these are at risk of sudden bursting, which could unleash millions of cubic meters of water and debris, putting 7 million people at risk.

Pakistan's government and the UN are attempting to reduce the risks of these sudden outburst floods by installing early-warning systems and protective infrastructure.

In the past poorer countries with weaker flood defences or lower-quality housing have been less able to cope with extreme rainfall.

But climate impact scientist Fahad Saeed told BBC News that even a rich nation would be overwhelmed by the catastrophic flooding this summer.

"This is a different type of animal - the scale of the floods is so high and the rain is so extreme, that even very robust defences would struggle," Dr Saeed explains from Islamabad, Pakistan.

He points to the flooding in Germany and Belgium that killed dozens of people in 2021.

Pakistan received nearly 190% more rain than its 30-year average from June to August - reaching a total of 390.7mm.

He says that Pakistan's meteorological service did a "reasonable" job in warning people in advance about flooding. And the country does have some flood defences but they could be improved, he says.

People with the smallest carbon footprints are suffering the most, Dr Saeed says.

"The victims are living in mud homes with hardly any resources - they have contributed virtually nothing to climate change," he says.

The flooding has affected areas that don't normally see this type of rain, including southern regions Sindh and Balochistan that are normally arid or semi-arid.

Terry A. said...

Current Coal Consumption in the World by Country is as Follows ( in MMCF = Millions of Cubic Feet )

1) China. = 4300 Trillion MMCF
2) India. = 966
3) USA. = 731
4) Germany = 257
5) Russia = 230
6) Japan = 210
7) South Africa = 202
8) South Korea = 157
9) Poland. = 149
10 ) Australia = 130

China is by far the Biggest Producer of CO2 emissions into the Atmosphere TODAY ( 10 Billion Tons ) & causes 32 % of Global Pollution…….Keeps going Up not down since the CCP will continue to use whatever the cheapest from of Energy is

The USA which has considerably cut its Coal usage over the past 7 Years causes around 10 -12 % of Global Pollution TODAY

India & Russia combined TODAY cause between 14 -17 % of Global Pollution in CO2 Emissions……..Consumption in both these Countries Keeps going up not down mainly due to Poverty & Poor People

Also the USA has enough Coal Reserves in the Ground to Last for the next 300 Years……. ?

Riaz Haq said...

Terry: "Current Coal Consumption in the World by Country is as Follows ( in MMCF = Millions of Cubic Feet )"

Coal is not the only source of carbon emissions; other fossil fuels like oil and gas also produce huge carbon emissions from power generations, factories and vehicles. Agriculture, livestock and food production are major contributors as well.

It's true that China, India and Russia are among the biggest emitters TODAY but their cumulative emissions since 1751 are minuscule compared to those of Americans and Europeans.

Riaz Haq said...

Rich nations should pay for the #climate disaster in #Pakistan. But these poorer countries shouldn't count on it because most of the Global North is in denial about its oversized role in creating this crisis. #FloodsinPakistan #climatechange #cabonemission

Opinion by Paul Hockenos

https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/07/opinions/pakistan-flooding-climate-crisis-pay-liability-us-hockenos/index.html


August will be one to remember for all the worst reasons. From epic flooding in Pakistan and along the Mississippi, to drought in China and out-of-control fires in Europe, the climate crisis is wreaking havoc on planet Earth on a new scale.


Yet, these disasters and their fallout are not evenly distributed. The Global South -- low or middle income countries in Africa, Asia, Oceania, Latin America and the Caribbean -- is suffering disproportionately, as climate scientists say it will for years to come.
If indeed it is global warming that is causing or even simply aggravating these extreme weather events, as scientists generally concur, then the South's ever angrier nations are completely justified in their demands that the world's wealthier regions -- those ultimately responsible for this made-in-the-developed-world crisis -- pay for its losses. In particular, the historically largest emissions sinners -- the United States and Europe.

But these poorer countries shouldn't count on it because not only is most of the Global North in denial about its oversized role in creating the crisis -- it is dead set against condoning the principle of liability.
Pakistan is currently suffering this catastrophe -- let's call it "climate breakdown," since this is what scientists say is happening -- more acutely than anywhere else in the world. More than 1,300 people have lost their lives and 33 million others are affected in what Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif last week referred to as "the worst [monsoon season] in the country's history."

The grim images of washed away houses, stranded refugees, children and elderly people in rushing floodwaters vividly underscore the gross inequities of the crisis that is reverberating across the Global South. Indeed many of the 3.6 billion most vulnerable people shouldering the worst of climate breakdown live in the Global South.
According to the UN World Food Program, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe extreme weather resulting from rising temperatures is forcing millions of already poor people into hunger. The current figure of up to 828 million people going hungry every night around the world will soar if global heating is not checked, it says.
While the human cost is unquantifiable, the economic price tag isn't. In Pakistan, a third of the country is underwater. The torrential rainfall and flooding, now in its second month, has destroyed one million homes, about 2,200 miles of roads, and submerged a third of the country -- including more than two million acres (809,371 hectares) of farmland, robbing the residents there of their livelihoods. The damage thus far is estimated at more than $10 billion, or 4% of the country's annual gross domestic product, according to Pakistani officials.
Displaced people take refuge along a highway after fleeing from their flood-hit homes in Pakistan's Charsadda district on August 28.

Terry A. said...

Agree and what you have stated are True Facts -

The Question is what can be done now to force other Countries to significantly reduce all their
Pollution …….. since the United Nations has no power at all anymore ?

Riaz Haq said...

Terry: "The Question is what can be done now to force other Countries to significantly reduce all their
Pollution …….. since the United Nations has no power at all anymore ?"

The countries of the global south with their young and growing populations are a huge market opportunity for the rich nations. It’s in their own best interest to help these poor nations survive and thrive.

Riaz Haq said...


Samantha Power
@PowerUSAID
NEWS: The first US Military plane landed today in Sindh Province, much of which has been submerged in floodwater. Working hand in hand with Pakistan’s authorities and
@USAID
,
@DeptofDefense
is building an airbridge to provide life-saving shelter:

https://twitter.com/PowerUSAID/status/1567920699439816714?s=20&t=IOtzWUPmkwxSfBCymjbmOA

Riaz Haq said...

#UN Chief appeals for "massive assistance" to #Pakistan. “We are heading into a disaster. We have waged war on nature and nature is tracking back and striking back in a devastating way. Today in Pakistan, tomorrow in any of your countries.” #Floods https://apnews.com/article/floods-pakistan-united-nations-islamabad-antonio-guterres-2b9fe364b59b7f804d3b926c5cf82731

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday that the world owes impoverished Pakistan “massive” help in recovering from devastating floods because other nations have contributed much more to climate change, which experts say may have helped trigger the deluge.

Months of monsoons and flooding have killed 1,391 people and affected 3.3 million in this South Asian nation while half a million people have become homeless. Planeloads of aid from the United States, the United Arab Emirates and other countries have begun arriving, but there’s more to be done, Guterres said.

Nature, the U.N. chief said in Islamabad, has attacked Pakistan, which contributes less than 1% of global emissions, according to multiple experts. Nations that “are more responsible for climate change ... should have faced this challenge,” Guterres said, seated next to Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

“We are heading into a disaster,” Guterres added. “We have waged war on nature and nature is tracking back and striking back in a devastating way. Today in Pakistan, tomorrow in any of your countries.”

The U.N. chief’s trip comes less than two weeks after Guterres appealed for $160 million in emergency funding to help those affected by the monsoon rains and floods that Pakistan says have caused at least $10 billion in damages. On Friday, the first planeload arrived from the U.S. , which Washington says is part of an upcoming $30 million in assistance.

“I appeal for massive support from the international community as Pakistan responds to this climate catastrophe,” Guterres tweeted after landing in Pakistan earlier Friday.

He said other nations contributing to climate change are obligated to reduce emissions and help Pakistan. He assured Sharif that his voice was “entirely at the service of the Pakistani government and the Pakistani people” and that “the entire U.N. system is at the service of Pakistan.”

“Pakistan has not contributed in a meaningful way to climate change, the level of emissions in this country is relatively low,” Guterres said. “But Pakistan is one of the most dramatically impacted countries by climate change.”

Later, Guterres directed his words to the international community, saying that by some estimates, Pakistan needs about $30 billion to recover.

Riaz Haq said...

#UN Chief António Guterres appeals for "massive assistance" to #Pakistan amid“unprecedented” flood destruction. Losses stand at $30 billion and counting. There is no memory of such a large-scale calamity due to climate change, he said. #PakistanFloods2022 https://www.samaaenglish.tv/news/40016685/pakistan-pakistan-flood-losses-at-30-billion-and-counting-says-un-chief

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres Friday said that Pakistan had suffered “unprecedented” flood destruction and its losses stood at $30 billion and counting.

Guterres — who is on a two-day visit to Pakistan – held a joint press conference with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad where he repeated his appeal for the international community’s “massive support” for Pakistan.

The UN secretary-general also said that the international community has an obligation to support Pakistan, especially the countries with higher greenhouse gas emissions.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif opened the press conference by thanking Guterres for his visit and his expression of solidarity and sympathy.

Sharif said that tens of millions of people were still stranded in Punjab, KP and Sindh provinces.

The UN secretary-general said that he was no stranger to Pakistan and had visited the country numerous times during the past 17 years.

Guterres said he not only visited Pakistan during its own crises but had also seen how Pakistanis helped Afghan refugees and shared their resources with them.

He said that the 2022 floods were an “unprecedented natural disaster.” There is no memory of such a large-scale calamity due to climate change, he said.

Families have lost their loved ones, crops, and jobs, he said.

Guterres appreciated “enormous efforts” from Pakistan’s civil administration, army, and people to help flood survivors.

He then made an appeal to the international community. “Pakistan needs massive financial support in this crisis that have costed, accroding to some estimates, around $30 billion and counting,” Guterres said.

The UN secretary-general said that Pakistan with its low level of emissions “never contributed meaningfully” to climate change and instead it was one of the “most dramatically impacted countries” by climate change.

It is essential that this is recognized by the international community especially countries that have contributed to climate change by mobilizing massive support, he said.

Shahbaz Sharif thanked the UN chief and said that every penny Pakistan gets will be spent with transparency.

Earlier, Guterres was given a joint briefing at the National Flood Response, Coordination Center by civil and military officials.

Addressing the briefing Guterres said that the international community has an obligation towards supporting Pakistan.

He said this on Friday while addressing a joint briefing at the National Flood Response, Coordination Center in Islamabad.

Seated alongside Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Guteress said that humanity had declared a war on nature and now nature was striking back.

“But nature is blind and it is not striking back on those contributing most to climate change,” he said adding that it was striking at those who had contributed the least.

“Nature has attacked the wrong part, it should be for those more responsible who should face.”

“There is an obligation of the international community to support Pakistan in these circumstances and there is an obligation of the international community to support countries worst affected,” he added.

The UN Secretary-General expressed his appreciation for the people of Pakistan, noting that he had spent time in the country as a commissioner for refugees and human rights overseeing the Afghan refugees.

“I have always seen the enormous generosity of Pakistanis in hosting Afghan refugees and Pakistani generosity towards fellow Pakistanis in supporting disaster hit people during earthquake and floods,” he said, adding, “my solidarity with Pakistanis.”

Riaz Haq said...

New #satellite images reveal Lake #Manchar, #Pakistan's largest freshwater #lake, is overflowing dangerously. Images show breaches in the banks some of which have been made to prevent spilling into densely populated areas in #Sindh. #FloodsInPakistan2022 https://www.space.com/pakistan-flooding-largest-lake-overflowing-satellites

After weeks of extreme monsoon rains, Pakistan's largest freshwater lake started overflowing in early September, putting tens of thousands of people at risk of losing their homes, new satellite images reveal.

The images, captured by NASA's Landsat 8 and Landsat 9 satellites, show breaches in the banks of Lake Manchar, some of which have been made intentionally by local authorities to prevent the overfilled lake from spilling into densely populated areas in the Indus River Valley.

The images show the pre-flood situation on July 25 and then detail the growing extent of the flooding on Aug. 28 and Sept. 5.

Some 100,000 people living in several hundred villages scattered across the valley are at risk of flooding due to the breaches, NASA officials wrote in a statement(opens in new tab). The floods, described as Pakistan's worst in at least a decade, have killed more than 1,300 people and injured thousands more. Over 1 million homes have been destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people are currently displaced.

Pakistan's Sindh province, where Lake Manchar is located, is one of the most severely affected by the flooding. The area has already received five times its average annual rainfall this year, NASA said in the statement. More rain is likely in the coming days, according to the U.K. weather forecaster Met Office.

The government of Pakistan declared a national emergency on Aug. 30, asking for international support to deliver food, drinking water and health supplies and assistance to the affected communities.

Riaz Haq said...

The #west is ignoring #Pakistan’s super-floods. Heed this warning: tomorrow it will be you. Those who don’t die from the #floods risk death by starvation – yet you’ve probably heard little about the devastation. #FloodsInPakistan2022
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/sep/08/pakistan-floods-climate-crisis?CMP=share_btn_tw

Today, Pakistan, the world’s fifth-most-populous country, is fighting for its survival. This summer, erratic monsoon rains battered the country from north to south – Sindh, the southernmost province, received 464% more rain over the last few weeks than the 30-year average for the period.

At the same time, Pakistan’s glaciers are melting at a rate never seen before. These two consequences of the climate crisis have combined to create a monstrous super-flood that has ravaged the country.

Ninety per cent of crops in Sindh have been damaged; Faisal Edhi, who runs Pakistan’s largest social welfare organisation, the Edhi Foundation, has warned that those who don’t die from the floods risk death by starvation.

A famine is coming; the only question is how soon? Economic losses are estimated to be in excess of $30bn, 50 million people have been internally displaced, there is the threat of a malaria epidemic as floodwater lies stagnant – satellite images have shown the shocking formation of a 100km-wide inland lake in Sindh due to overflowing from the Indus River – and there is no doubt that a generation will be cast backwards as already meagre education and health services are violently disrupted. More than 400 children have died and with winter coming and millions left without shelter, many more will.

This is a tragedy of nightmarish proportions and yet if you live outside Pakistan, you probably haven’t heard much about it. Given its near total lack of interest in the fate of Pakistan, it would seem that the rest of the world hasn’t considered that this epic humanitarian crisis is a peek into the apocalyptic future that awaits us all.

No nation need have any special feelings towards Pakistan, but the horrors faced by the country today are a clear warning of the consequences of universal and rapacious climate breakdown. Human beings have destroyed our one and only planet; what is happening in Pakistan today is proof of that.

Our voracious burning of fossil fuels, obnoxious disregard for the wild and natural world we inherited, and criminal consumption means that no country, no matter its wealth, will be immune from the consequences of global heating. Today it is Pakistan, tomorrow it will be California, France, Australia, the world.

While it has been touching to see how ordinary people from far away countries have shown solidarity with Pakistan, donating what they can to flood relief efforts, the silence from major international figures and western media at large has been dispiriting, if not unsurprising. The week the flood hit, there were more newspaper column inches devoted to a Finnish prime minister who likes to party than to the fact that a third of Pakistan was submerged.

This is not a question of disaster fatigue. In Europe, the same countries that pushed Syrian refugees out in rubber dinghies to die at sea have free Airbnb housing and welcome booths for Ukrainians at their airports. And it’s not that Pakistan is too dangerous to visit or deal with. Only recently, Bernard Henri Levy, the French pop intellectual, was strutting around Odessa and President Zelensky publicly thanked Ben Stiller and Angelina Jolie, “who, despite the danger, have visited us”. (To be fair to Jolie, she did visit Pakistan after the 2005 earthquake.)

Riaz Haq said...

‘Very Dire’: Devastated by Floods, Pakistan Faces Looming Food Crisis
The flooding has crippled Pakistan’s agricultural sector, battering the country as it reels from an economic crisis and double-digit inflation that has sent the price of basics soaring.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/11/world/asia/pakistan-floods-food-crisis.html

Violent swells have swept away roads, homes, schools and hospitals across much of Pakistan. Millions of people have been driven from their homes, struggling through waist-deep, fetid water to reach islands of safety. Nearly all of the country’s crops along with thousands of livestock and stores of wheat and fertilizer have been damaged — prompting warnings of a looming food crisis.

Since a deluge of monsoon rains lashed Pakistan last week, piling more water on top of more than two months of record flooding that has killed hundreds of people and displaced tens of millions, the Pakistani government and international relief organizations have scrambled to save people and vital infrastructure in what officials have called a climate disaster of epic proportions.

Floodwater now covers around a third of the country, including its agricultural belt, with more rain predicted in the coming weeks. The damage from the flood will likely be “far greater” than initial estimates of around $10 billion, according to the country’s planning minister, Ahsan Iqbal.

The flooding has crippled a country that was already reeling from an economic crisis and double digit-inflation that has sent the price of basic goods soaring. Now the flooding threatens to set Pakistan back years or even decades, officials warned, and to fan the flames of political tensions that have engulfed the country since former Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted last spring.

The damage to the country’s agricultural sector could also be felt across the globe, experts warn. Pakistan is one of the world’s top producers and exporters of cotton and rice — crops that have been devastated by the flood. As much as half of the country’s cotton crop has been destroyed, officials said, a blow to global cotton production in a year when cotton prices have soared as other major producers from the United States to China have been hit with extreme weather.

The floodwaters also threaten to derail Pakistan’s wheat planting season this fall, raising the possibility of continued food shortfalls and price spikes through next year. It is an alarming prospect in a country that depends on its wheat production to feed itself at a time when global wheat supplies are precarious.


“We’re in a very dire situation,” said Rathi Palakrishnan, deputy country director of the World Food Program in Pakistan. “There’s no buffer stocks of wheat, there’s no seeds because farmers have lost them.”

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s government, along with the United Nations, has appealed for $160 million in emergency funding to reach 5.2 million of the country’s most vulnerable people.

The scale of the devastation in Pakistan stands out even in a year punctuated by extreme weather, including heat waves across Europe and the United States, intense rain that has drenched parts of Asia and the worst drought to hit East Africa in decades.

Since the start of the monsoon season in Pakistan this summer, more than 1,300 people have died in floods — nearly half of whom are children — and more than 6,000 have been injured, according to the United Nations. Around 33 million people have been displaced. Floodwater now covers around 100,000 square miles — an area larger than the size of Britain — with more floods expected in the coming weeks.

Sindh Province, which produces around a third of the country’s food supply, has been among the hardest hit by the rains. The province received nearly six times its 30-year average rainfall this monsoon season, which has damaged around 50 percent of the province’s crops, according to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

Riaz Haq said...

The New York Times
@nytimes
Flooding has crippled Pakistan’s agricultural sector, battering the country as it reels from an economic crisis and inflation that has sent the price of basic goods soaring. Officials warn the flooding threatens to set Pakistan back years or even decades. https://nyti.ms/3qvsCE4

https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1568999070571659269?s=20&t=YnIgUPmGWNRNOFxTpqKvCQ

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

While large landowners will likely survive the floods, the damage has been devastating for the tens of thousands of smaller landowners and farmers that make up the backbone of Pakistan’s agriculture sector, Mr. Khaskheli added.

Land ownership remains an extremely feudal system in Pakistan, made up largely of vast estates cultivated by farmers who work as forced labor, primarily in the form of debt bondage.

Officials have warned that the damage and economic losses will be felt throughout the country for months and years to come. The loss of cotton to Pakistan’s textile industry, which contributes nearly 10 percent of the country’s G.D.P., could hamper any hopes for an economic recovery.

Riaz Haq said...

We are likely to see GDP growth slowing down further to around 2%, against the current IMF estimates of 3.5%. In this fast evolving scenario, our policy response must be calibrated towards the changing ground realities.

By Zafar Masud

https://www.brecorder.com/news/40197591

Reprioritise the FY2023 budget
The federal and provincial governments need to reprioritize the FY2023 Budget allocations, in particular the PSDP and ADP expenditures for relief and rehabilitation work in the flood affected districts. Additional expenditure requirements need to be agreed in consultation with the IMF. During the 2020 COVID pandemic, IMF agreed to a Rs 800bn Budget ‘adjustor’. In effect, the primary deficit targets were calculated excluding the COVID specific expenditure. The adjustor will give governments space to cater to emergency response and reconstruction activity.

Debt relief
Pakistan has benefitted from the G-20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) framework in the aftermath of COVID pandemic. Pakistan is the largest beneficiary of this programme, with an estimated US$ 3.7bn of debt suspended or rescheduled under the DSSI since 2020.

Government needs to look into expanding this initiative beyond the 2 year timeline, targeting a 10-year suspension of these debt repayments. The UN 2022 Financing for Sustainable Development Report recommends urgent action to reactive the DSSI for another two years and reschedule maturity for upto five years. A new global push led by UN and G20 countries will be the most effective way for Pakistan to deal with its short-term debt liabilities.

Rapid financing facility — IMF
The UN 2022 report also calls to expand access to Rapid Financing Instruments for all developing countries. Pakistan must also explore the option to access the IMF Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI), similar to US$ 1.4bn facility utilized in 2020 as a result of the COVID pandemic.

Having said that, fiscal challenges aside, the biggest impediment could potentially be on the capacity front. We would seriously be hampered in terms of available bodies and skills to execute massive work of reconstruction and more so rehabilitation. This aspect must also be kept in perspective while calibrating the real impact on the economy of this catastrophe.

In the end, would like to conclude by acknowledging the national spirit of our great nation. Despite difficult economic realities, they have again stepped up at this time of need. The response of federal and provincial governments, civil society and private sector is beyond expectations. We at the Bank of Punjab are witnessing firsthand the tremendous response generated by the calls to raise funds for the flood affected families and have raised over Rs 2 billion hitherto in its various flood relief accounts.

As an institution, BoP is stepping up its CSR activities and have made arrangements whereby volunteering employees will be trained to build shelters and help in rehabilitation of the affected communities across the country. The Bank will bear all the costs.

We’re proud to be the first bank to extend relief to the small farmers by extending their loan repayments terms for a period of one year.

(Zafar Masud is President and CEO of The Bank of Punjab (BOP) while Sayem Ali is BOP’s Chief Economist)

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistani industrialists expect up to 50 percent export setback after monsoon rains, floods | Arab News PK

https://www.arabnews.pk/node/2163341/pakistan

Pakistan’s planning minister Ahsan Iqbal said in a recent statement the flood-related damage could exceed $40 billion, though he added the government was working with international financial agencies to quantify the extent of devastation.

“The scale of the flood destruction is huge and still not comprehensively fathomed,” Muhammad Noman, convener of the central committee on exports at the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Arab News. “Initial estimates suggest that the country’s exports may get 35 to 50 percent setback.”

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

Pakistan’s devastating floods have almost wiped out the entire cotton crop, the main raw material for the textile sector, in the province of Sindh.

The floods have also partially damaged the crop in Punjab, causing a huge setback to the country’s biggest foreign exchange earning sector.

Pakistan’s overall exports during the last fiscal year stood at $31.79 billion out of which the textile sector contributed $19.32 billion, or 60.5 percent.

“Large swathes of cotton producing areas have been submerged by floods,” Muhammad Jawed Bilwani, chairman of the Pakistan Apparel Forum, told Arab News. “There are multiple issues with exports, including an increase in the cost of doing business and the refusal of authorities to open letters of credit which is also causing raw material issues. The exact impact of floods on our exports will be determined after three to four months when the current inventory of mills dries up.”

Pakistan’s textile sector requires about 12-14 million cotton bales on an annual basis, though local cotton production is expected to be around 6.5 million to 7.5 million bales this year.

The shortfall is expected to be met through imports.

Pakistan has also purchased raw cotton from the international market in the past, including the last fiscal year.

“We will have to import 1.5 million additional bales during the current year,” Khurram Mukhtar, patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Textile Exporters’ Association, said. “Commodity prices for all manufacturing countries are the same, driven by the US cotton index, so it will not affect our competitiveness.”

“The demand has gone down for domestic market consumption,” he continued. “Pakistan is still the most competitive country and we have one of the best infrastructures in the textile value chain. We have the most experience in making finished products among our peers.”

Riaz Haq said...

Riaz Haq
@haqsmusings
People Of #Flood-Hit #Pakistan Need #America's Help. #US Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee has introduced legislation to provide more help to the country that has been devastated by recent #floods. #PakistanFloods #Sindh

https://twitter.com/haqsmusings/status/1571173078625030148?s=20&t=sptq7d0z3ATWm_L0h6R1uA

--------------------
Pakistan, she said, has been a friend and has helped the US in the evacuation of Afghan refugees; helped in the war on terror, where they lost the Pakistani military in the war on terror.

“And, of course, the huge and very engaging Pakistani diaspora, Pakistani Americans who are both respected and, of course, energised to be collaborative with their government here in the United States to try to save the lives of babies and children, women and men, people who are sick, who need kidney transplants, who can't get their medicine, it is imperative that we rise up to this occasion,” she said.

-------

Asserting that the people of Pakistan need America’s help, a US lawmaker has introduced legislation to provide more help to the country that has been devastated by recent floods.

The cash-strapped nation has been struggling with the worst floods in the past 30 years, leaving more than 1,400 dead and 33 million people affected since early June.


A third of the country is submerged in water and one in every seven persons is badly affected by the floods that have led to an estimated USD 12 billion in losses that have left about 78,000 square kilometers (21 million acres) of crops under water.

“The people of Pakistan need our help. The Pakistani Americans have risen to their call. So many in my Congressional district are providing and offering to help send medical care if you will,” Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, co-chair of the Pakistani Congressional Caucus said in her remarks in the House of Representatives.

Speaking on the floor of the House, Jackson-Lee said that it is very important for the US Congress to go on record in recognizing the devastation that the people are facing every single day.

“Would you imagine, even in the trials and tribulations that we have in the United States, that you have populations of people who are isolated by dirty water and that there are people who are living in the outlying areas with no shelter whatsoever,” she said.

“The people are hungry, the lack of food is rising. The pregnant women are fearful for the unbelievable challenges they have in giving birth,” she said.

“Madam Speaker, I am calling upon Congress, as I introduce this legislation dealing with the devastation of the floods in Pakistan, to join me in supporting the legislation and, as well, recognising the dire conditions that our friends in Pakistan are having,” Jackson-Lee said.


Jackson-Lee has just returned from Pakistan after a 10 days visit with the Congressional Pakistan Caucus. “I could see water as far as the eye could see. The devastation is overwhelming: 33 million people displaced, more than 600,000 homeless, but more than that, hungry,” she said.

She thanks the Biden administration for its initial support of the UN fund of USD 30 million and the additional funding of USD 20 million.

“After our briefing in Islamabad and working with the administration, the United States military joined in delivering 300,000 tents,” she said.

“To my colleagues, more is needed. I will be introducing legislation that reflects the delegation's work and, as well, their efforts; and that is, we need additional funding for these devastating conditions,” said the Democratic Congresswoman from Texas.

Riaz Haq said...

VEON Subsidiary Pushes Digital Inclusion in Pakistan

Tommy Clift | Reporter

https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/veon-subsidiary-pushes-digital-inclusion-in-pakistan/2022/09/

Mobilink Microfinance Bank (MMBL) launched a trio of initiatives to accelerate financial inclusion for farmers and female entrepreneurs in Pakistan. The move echoes another by its parent company VEON to promote digital access through its subsidiary Kyvistar.

The MMBL plans include an agriculture advisory service for Pakistani farmers, e-commerce services for female entrepreneurs, and 4G handsets. VEON CEO Kaan Terzioglu believes the initiatives will play a pivotal role in digitalizing the microfinance industry in Pakistan.


VEON noted in a statement that agriculture represents nearly 23% of Pakistan’s gross domestic product and employs approximately 37% of its workforce. Recent floods in the country destroyed 3.6 million acres of crops and killed 700,000 livestock, it added.

MMBL is partnering with Pakistan-based agricultural technology company BaKhabar Kissan to provide information and guidance on livestock management, weather monitoring, crop planting – including which are profitable, and boosting agricultural yields.

“We are aiming to build a digital infrastructure that will help further economic prosperity and financial empowerment among women business owners and small and medium-sized farmers in the country, two segments that have the potential to transform Pakistan’s economic future,” MMBL President and CEO Ghazanfar Azzam stated.

Their push to incentivize and advance female entrepreneurs comes with their collaboration with Pakistan e-commerce platforms Daraz and its flagship Women Inspirational Network (WIN) program. This is intend to promote a female-focused, “digital financial ecosystem” using their subscriber base – currently accounting for 53% of the 195 million cellular subscribers in Pakistan, according to VEON.

Women make up nearly half of the country’s population, but VEON notes “their financial inclusion figure stands at 7%.”

The new program will use the Digit 4G handsets to “drive participation in the digital economy among marginalized groups within the population.” The handsets will be discounted and targeted at female entrepreneurs, coming “pre-loaded with the digital banking application, MMBL DOST, which will enable customers to obtain quick financial assistance, pay bills, make money transfers, and use a vast array of digital banking services,” VEON explained.

Riaz Haq said...

#AngelinaJolie visits #Pakistan to support victims of devastating #floods. She will highlight need for urgent support for Pakistani people & long-term solutions to multiplying crises of #climatechange, human displacement globally. #FloodsInPakistan https://www.rescue.org/press-release/angelina-jolie-visits-pakistan-support-communities-affected-devastating-floods

International humanitarian Angelina Jolie is visiting Pakistan to support communities affected by the devastating floods. Heavy rains and floods across the country have impacted 33 million people and submerged one third of the country under water. Ms Jolie is visiting to witness and gain understanding of the situation, and to hear from people affected directly about their needs, and about steps to prevent such suffering in the future.

Ms Jolie, who previously visited victims of the 2010 floods in Pakistan, and the 2005 earthquake, will visit the IRC’s emergency response operations and local organisations assisting displaced people including Afghan refugees.

Pakistan, which has contributed just 1% of global carbon emissions, is also the second largest host of refugees globally, its people having sheltered Afghan refugees for over forty years.

Ms Jolie will highlight the need for urgent support for the Pakistani people and long-term solutions to address the multiplying crises of climate change, human displacement and protracted insecurity we are witnessing globally.

Ms Jolie will see first hand how countries like Pakistan are paying the greatest cost for a crisis they did not cause. The IRC hopes her visit will shed light on this issue and prompt the international community - particularly states contributing the most to carbon emissions - to act and provide urgent support to countries bearing the brunt of the climate crisis.

Shabnam Baloch, Pakistan Country Director at the IRC said:

“The climate crisis is destroying lives and futures in Pakistan, with severe consequences especially for women and children. The resulting economic loss from these floods will likely lead to food insecurity and an increase in violence against women and girls. We need immediate support to reach people in urgent need, and long term investments to stop climate change from destroying our collective futures. With more rains expected in the coming months, we hope Angelina Jolie’s visit will help the world wake up and take action.”

IRC’s latest needs assessment shows people are in urgent need of food, drinking water, shelter, and healthcare. Every person surveyed reported women and girls have no access to menstrual hygiene products. So far, the IRC has reached more than 50,000 women and girls with humanitarian assistance, including dignity and hygiene kits to address the need for sanitation and menstrual items. We have been providing lifesaving services to flood-affected communities in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh since early July and have reached almost 950,000 people with emergency supplies, food, healthcare and safe spaces.

Riaz Haq said...

Climate change likely helped cause deadly Pakistan floods, scientists find

https://www.npr.org/2022/09/19/1123798981/climate-change-likely-helped-cause-deadly-pakistan-floods-scientists-find

It is likely that climate change helped drive deadly floods in Pakistan, according to a new scientific analysis. The floods killed nearly 1500 people and displaced more than 30 million, after record-breaking rain in August.

The analysis confirms what Pakistan's government has been saying for weeks: that the disaster was clearly driven by global warming. Pakistan experienced its wettest August since the country began keeping detailed national weather records in 1961. The provinces that were hardest hit by floods received up to eight times more rain than usual, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department.

Climate change made such heavy rainfall more likely, according to the analysis by a group of international climate scientists in Pakistan, Europe and the United States. While Pakistan has sometimes experienced heavy monsoon rains, about 75 percent more water is now falling during weeks when monsoon rains are heaviest, the scientists estimate.

The analysis is a so-called attribution study, a type of research that is conducted very quickly compared to other climate studies, and is meant to offer policymakers and disaster survivors a rough estimate of how global warming affected a specific weather event. More in-depth research is underway to understand the many ways that climate change affects monsoon rainfall.

For example, while it's clear that intense rain will keep increasing as the Earth heats up, climate models also suggest that overall monsoon rains will be less reliable. That would cause cycles of both drought and flooding in Pakistan and neighboring countries in the future.

Such climate whiplash has already damaged crops and killed people across southeast Asia in recent years, and led to a water crisis in Chennai, India in 2019.

The new analysis also makes clear that human caused climate change was not the only driver of Pakistan's deadly floods. Scientists point out that millions of people live in flood-prone areas with outdated drainage in provinces where the flooding was most severe. Upgrading drainage, moving homes and reinforcing bridges and roads would all help prevent such catastrophic damage in the future.

Riaz Haq said...

PAKISTAN FLOODS

Submerged Cities (Mehar, Qambar, Larkana, Sukkur, Khairpur Nathanshah, Sehwan,
Satellite images show unprecedented floods have left parts of Pakistan underwater.

https://graphics.reuters.com/PAKISTAN-WEATHER/FLOODS/zgvomodervd/
----------

Floods from record monsoon rains in Pakistan and glacial melt in the country’s mountainous north have affected 33 million people and killed over 1,500, washing away homes, roads, railways, bridges, livestock and crops in damage estimated at $30 billion.

Both the government and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres have blamed climate change for the extreme weather that led to the flooding and submerged huge areas of the nation of 220 million.

Large swathes of the country are inundated, and hundreds of thousands have been forced from their homes while some villages have become islands.

Images from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2 satellite, analysed by Reuters, show the extent of flooding around towns and cities in Sindh province, one of the country’s worst affected areas.

There are at least three points in Dadu district in the province of Sindh where the Indus Highway is submerged, with traffic suspended for weeks, while Pakistan's other highway connecting the north and south has also been badly hit by the flood waters.

The cities of Qambar and Larkana sit around 25 km apart and are just west of the Indus River. Both have been heavily impacted by flood water.

Images show farm fields that resemble massive lakes of several miles in diameter and landscapes which are usually a spectrum of brown, yellow and green, now submerged by water.

Reuters’ drone footage over Sindh showed agricultural and residential areas completely submerged in water, with just the tops of trees and buildings visible.

Urban centres like Larkana and Sukkur, while not completely unscathed, faced comparatively lesser damage from the flooding. The airport remains operational and is receiving flights that are carrying relief supplies that have been arriving from China, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates carrying tents, food and medicine. People from nearby villages are also queuing up to get treated at hospitals in the city.

U.N. agencies have begun work to assess the South Asian nation's reconstruction needs after it received 391 mm (15.4 inches) of rain, or nearly 190% more than the 30-year average, in July and August. Sindh received 466% more rain than average.

The map below shows the extent of flooding through the province. Many of the towns and villages have been submerged or surrounded by flood waters.

Over the last few weeks, authorities have thrown up barriers to keep the flood waters out of key structures such as power stations as well as homes, while farmers who stayed to try and save their cattle faced a new threat as fodder began to run out.


Data from Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority, shows how rapidly the disaster unfolded as more people died towards the end of August and the numbers continue to pile up. In Sindh, the country’s hardest hit region, accounts for little over 40 percent of the deaths.

As of Sept 18 the floods have partially or permanently damaged over 1.9 million houses, destroyed 12,718 km (7,902 miles) of roads, nearly a million livestock, and swamped millions of acres of farmland since the start of the monsoon.


Data shows how damage and destruction escalated during August when rains were heaviest. More than half a million homes have been completely destroyed. The majority of the damaged infrastructure is in Sindh.

The city of Khairpur Nathan Shah in Sindh, which is about 25 km (15.5 miles) west of the Indus River is completely surrounded by flood water. The roofs of the homes resemble an archipelago in place of a city.

The crisis is far from over as rescue operations have been unable to get to all the affected areas. Of the 33 million people affected, about half a million have been moved to camps with about 180,000 rescued. More than half of the country’s 160 districts continue to be affected by the floods.

Riaz Haq said...

World leaders join Pakistan for SOS on flood and debt

https://www.dawn.com/news/1711210/world-leaders-join-pakistan-for-sos-on-flood-and-debt

Paris offers to host rehabilitation conference
• Shehbaz to present Pakistan’s case on Friday
• UN chief opens UNGA with ‘debt-climate adaptation swaps’ suggestion

UNITED NATIONS: “Pakistan is drowning, not only in floodwater but in debt” too, said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres as Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif urged the international community on Tuesday to stay engaged with the country as it deals with this huge humanitarian crisis.

Pakistan and France, meanwhile, agreed to identify ways and means to support efforts to tackle the challenge caused by the floods and Paris offered to host an international conference before the end of the year to help Islamabad rebuild in a climate-resilient manner.

“I recently saw it with my own eyes in Pakistan — where one-third of the country is submerged by a ‘monsoon on steroids’,” said the UN chief during a forceful address to world leaders gathered for the opening day of the General Assembly’s high-level debate.

Mr Guterres repeated the appeal he first made during his recent visit to Pakistan where he urged lenders to consider debt reduction to help those nations that were facing a possible economic collapse. “Creditors should consider debt reduction mechanisms such as debt-climate adaptation swaps,” he said again at the UNGA. “These could have saved lives and livelihoods in Pakistan, which is drowning not only in floodwater, but in debt.”

The UN chief urged the lenders to set up “an effective mechanism of debt relief for developing countries, including middle-income countries, in debt distress”.

This is the first UNGA session attended physically by world leaders after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Also at the welcome reception hosted by Mr Guterres, Prime Minister Sharif interacted with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, held bilateral meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron, President of Spain Pedro Sanchez Perez-Castejon, Chancellor of Austria Karl Nehammer and President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi.


Besides, Mr Sharif expressed gratitude to Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas for sending the response and rescue team for the flood-affected people of Pakistan.

He also highlighted the need for helping out developing economies in a series of tweets. He was scheduled to address the Global Food Security Summit, but could not due to other engagements. In his tweets, he said he had come to the UNGA to “tell Pakistan’s story to the world, a story of deep anguish and pain arising out of a massive human tragedy caused by floods”.

Riaz Haq said...

Angelina Jolie after viewing the flood disaster in Pakistan: "I have never seen anything like this. I have been to Pakistan many times. Pakistanis have been very generous to Afghan refugees but now they need help. Often times 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."

https://youtu.be/tsHpbzF_Olg

More excerpts of 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"

"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"

Riaz Haq said...

Following Devastating #FloodsInPakistan2022, Senators Feinstein, Gillibrand, Colleagues Call on President Biden to Grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Pakistani Nationals, allowing them to remain in #US until #Pakistan recovers. #Immigration https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?id=03478F8A-A22A-4D15-A5D3-CF660F413965

In addition to Feinstein and Gillibrand, the letter was also signed by Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.).


“Granting TPS to Pakistani nationals in need is a small but consequential step that the United States can take to immediately reduce the human suffering caused by this natural disaster and would reaffirm our stance as a global leader committed to humanitarian relief efforts and protections,” wrote the senators. “Should Pakistan officially request TPS designation given the current conditions the country is facing, we urge the Biden administration to prioritize such a request while continuing to monitor ongoing developments and deliberate on the best way to aid the Pakistani community.”

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."

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...

#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...

Pakistan’s Biblical Floods and the Case for Climate Reparations
Isn’t it time for rich nations to pay the communities that they have helped to drown?
By Mohammed Hanif

https://www.newyorker.com/news/annals-of-a-warming-planet/pakistans-biblical-floods-and-the-case-for-climate-reparations


The West sees its culpability in this man-made disaster but prefers to blame the victim. I think of a fable that I grew up with, in which a lamb drinks from a river downstream until a lion accuses it of polluting the river upstream. In the version of the fable that I remember, the lion eats the lamb as punishment. Imagine this: the driver of an S.U.V. speeds into a country lane, hits a person on a bicycle, and then, instead of paying damages, asks the cyclist to drive an electric vehicle powered by renewable energy. The driver of the S.U.V. wonders why the cyclist wasn’t more resilient, and asks, “Why didn’t you plan for a future where my car might come and destroy your bicycle and break your leg? You could have prepared for a better future, for apocalyptic floods, but what did you do? You prepared a petition for reparations? And you don’t even have a practical plan for how these reparations would work?”

Those calling for climate reparations received an answer from America’s climate envoy, John Kerry, at the U.N. General Assembly last week. “You tell me the government in the world that has trillions of dollars, ’cause that’s what it costs,” he said, perhaps steeling himself for difficult questions at November’s global climate conference, cop27, in Egypt. Western governments do have trillions of dollars, and they have had more than a decade to think through how climate reparations should work. Kerry sounded like he was haggling over the price of life jackets with drowning people.

Maybe Pakistan could have handled the current floods better if we had done our homework. We had a massive flood in 2010, experts were flown in, reports and studies were commissioned and then shelved. But Pakistan, like its Western allies, had other priorities: we were busy in neighboring Afghanistan, helping America defeat the Taliban, or maybe helping the Taliban defeat America—we are still not sure. On the other border, we were busy with India. Even in the week of our Biblical floods, we managed to finalize a deal with the United States worth four hundred and fifty million dollars, to upgrade our F-16 fighter planes. We may not know how we are going to feed our people for the next six months, but we have made sure that we can keep them safe from hostile aircraft.

Like Westerners, Pakistani élites planned for security and progress. We turned agricultural lands into golf courses and gated communities, and built houses on riverbeds, and grew cash crops along waterways. We thought less about the millions who live in mud houses, who till someone else’s land to feed their kids and save a bit in hopes of sending them to school one day. Now the water has turned their houses back into mud, and washed away the grain that they stocked for the entire year, and flooded the land that still belongs to someone else. They dare not dream of justice, let alone climate justice.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s Biblical Floods and the Case for Climate Reparations
Isn’t it time for rich nations to pay the communities that they have helped to drown?
By Mohammed Hanif

https://www.newyorker.com/news/annals-of-a-warming-planet/pakistans-biblical-floods-and-the-case-for-climate-reparations

Experts tell us that the world suffers from donor fatigue, what with a war in Ukraine, in which people with fair skin and blue eyes are fleeing their homes and fighting for their lives. What goes unsaid is that hearts have been hardened by repeated images of brown mothers cradling skeletal children who are covered in flies, along overflowing rivers or scorched fields. Or maybe rich nations think that they should save their money for when the disasters come for them.

Sometimes my own compatriots tell the world, If you don’t listen, it could happen to you. The West seems unfazed by this logic: climate carnage has happened there, is happening there. Perhaps the West fears that if it acknowledges any debt to a country like Pakistan, it will no longer be able to withhold what it owes its own citizens. A childhood friend lived in Lake Charles, Louisiana, for most of his life, and in the span of a year his house and business were destroyed thrice, first by Hurricane Laura, then snow, then flooding. He reluctantly put his house up for sale, moved to Los Angeles, and slowly started to build a life. The aid that the government promised to Lake Charles hasn’t arrived. After Hurricane Maria, hundreds of thousands of Americans in Puerto Rico were denied federal assistance. They were still vulnerable when Hurricane Fiona brought floods and blackouts again, this week. The lamb does not escape the lion by showing a U.S. passport.


A global climate movement has made people aware of their carbon footprint, of the impact of their eating habits, of the evils of fossil-fuel companies, but it has yet to convince people that they and their governments can and should pay for what they helped to destroy. They must, because the losses and damages will only grow, and because the West became rich from the burning of fossil fuels, and because the village that is drowning may one day be their own.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s Biblical Floods and the Case for Climate Reparations
Isn’t it time for rich nations to pay the communities that they have helped to drown?
By Mohammed Hanif

https://www.newyorker.com/news/annals-of-a-warming-planet/pakistans-biblical-floods-and-the-case-for-climate-reparations

When rich nations refuse to acknowledge that countries such as Pakistan need climate reparations, they not only shirk their responsibility now but set a precedent of inaction and impunity, even within their own borders. They seem to say, We can build walls so high that the polluted air will only poison you. When it melts glaciers, only you will drown, and when your fields are flooded, only you will go hungry. We can give you a few thousand tents to shelter your millions, or rafts to float you over what used to be self-sustaining villages, but we don’t owe you anything. If it happens to us, rich countries seem to say, we won’t starve. We can always eat you. ♦

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...

Pakistan’s #flood crisis could be an opportunity for real change. Devastating floods have also hit #Florida. Considering the global nature of #climate challenge, at some point #US & #Pakistan must find the courage to work together on "Green Marshall Plan" https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/29/pakistan-flood-crisis-climate-change-warning/

This week, Americans are understandably focused on the hurricane-related flooding in Florida, which is causing tragedy for thousands. Yet there is little attention in the United States to the fact that Pakistan has been flooded since mid-June, a catastrophe that is still causing unspeakable suffering for tens of millions.


Both of these crises owe much to the same phenomenon — climate change. But aside from some limited aid, there’s scant U.S.-Pakistan cooperation on long-term solutions. That has to change, according to Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who was in the United States this week pitching his proposal for a “Green Marshall Plan.” In meetings with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres and others, Zardari argued for a way those countries most responsible for climate change can help those countries most affected — and, in turn, help themselves.

It’s a big idea, and there are reasons for skepticism. But considering the global nature of the climate challenge, at some point the United States and Pakistan must find the courage to work together. In the process, the two countries might find a way back to being true allies, which would benefit both sides and balance China’s rising influence in the South Asia region.

“We have to find the opportunity in this crisis,” Zardari told me. “There are two ways of us going forward. We can do this dirtier, badly, in a way that will be worse for us and worse for the environment, or we can try to build back better in a greener, more climate-resilient manner.”

Zardari’s call for a “Green Marshall Plan” is meant to evoke America’s historical penchant for pursuing its enlightened self-interest. The idea also plays into President Biden’s own Build Back Better World concept. The theory is that Western government support for private-sector investment in climate-resilient, ecologically sustainable infrastructure in Pakistan would redound to the benefit of Western industry and help mitigate the future climate-related crises that are sure to come.

Florida will have several days of rain. In Pakistan, it rained for more than three months, submerging one-third of the country in a body of water than can be seen from space. The high floodwaters have created a cascade of problems, devastating Pakistan’s agriculture, manufacturing, trade and public health sectors.

Floods are almost a perennial occurrence in Pakistan, but this year’s continuing disaster is uniquely cataclysmic, impacting more than 33 million people (more than Florida’s entire population), including 16 million children and more than 600,000 pregnant women, according to the United Nations.

The flood and its aftereffects also risk throwing Pakistan right back into the economic crisis it was clawing its way out of. Pakistan was already on the hook to pay back $1 billion of the $10 billion it owes the Paris Club by the end of this year. Islamabad also owes some $30 billion to China. Now the country is being forced to borrow billions more to deal with the current situation.

The real question, Zardari said, is not whether the international community will come through with short-term aid and debt relief. The challenge is for the world to realize that Pakistan’s flood crisis won’t be the last or the worst, meaning the international response must take a far broader view.

In a world where covid-19, the Russia-Ukraine war and the worldwide economic slowdown are commanding the attention of policymakers in Western capitals, the bandwidth for new and expensive ideas is narrow. Zardari knows it’s a tough sell.


Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s #flood crisis could be an opportunity for real change. Devastating floods have also hit #Florida. Considering the global nature of #climate challenge, at some point #US & #Pakistan must find the courage to work together on "Green Marshall Plan" https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/29/pakistan-flood-crisis-climate-change-warning/


In a world where covid-19, the Russia-Ukraine war and the worldwide economic slowdown are commanding the attention of policymakers in Western capitals, the bandwidth for new and expensive ideas is narrow. Zardari knows it’s a tough sell.

“I understand that the concept of a Green Marshall Plan might not have many players. But that doesn’t change the fact that I believe it genuinely is the solution,” he said. “We have to pause our geopolitical differences and unite to face this existential threat to mankind.”

The concept of investing in green infrastructure in a coordinated, global way is not new; but under the current plans, it’s not happening. Global promises to invest $100 billion in the Green Climate Fund for developing countries by 2020 have been broken.

And while humanitarian aid is not primarily about strategic competition, it is worth noting that China has its own project called the Green Silk Road, and that Beijing is pushing propaganda in Pakistan claiming it is more generous than the United States (which is not true). The need to counter Chinese influence was a big reason the White House hosted leaders of 14 Pacific Island nations this week, all of which are suffering disproportionately from climate change.

In Washington, Pakistan has become something of a pariah, following years of disagreements over Afghanistan and other issues. But the end of that war provides an opening for a rethink. To be sure, Pakistan’s democracy looks shaky at times — but then again, so does America’s. The two allies still share many long-term interests, and saving the planet should be at the top of the list.

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...

#FloodsinPakistan: #Asian Development #Bank (#ADB) to provide $2.5 billion to #flood-ravaged #Pakistan. It would be the largest donation to the already impoverished country so far after the #WorldBank last month pledged $2 billion in aid. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/bank-to-provide-25-billion-to-flood-ravaged-pakistan/2022/10/05/ddb39d9a-44da-11ed-be17-89cbe6b8c0a5_story.html

Pakistan’s Finance Ministry said in a statement that the ADB’s country director, Yong Ye, announced the aid package at a meeting with Pakistan’s newly appointed Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

It said Ye expressed sympathy over damages and deaths caused by the monsoon-related flooding in Pakistan.

The statement said Dar appreciated ADB’s role and support in promoting sustainable development in Pakistan and he apprised Ye of the devastation caused by the floods and their impact on the economy of Pakistan.

Pakistan says the record-breaking floods have caused at least $30 billion in damage.

The latest development comes a day after the United Nations — amid a surge in diseases in flood-hit areas of Pakistan — asked for five times more international aid for Pakistan.

Pakistanis are now at increasing risk of waterborne diseases and other ailments, which have killed more than 350 people since July. Another 1,697 deaths were caused by the deluges this year.

The U.N. on Tuesday raised its aid appeal for Pakistan to $816 million from $160 million, saying recent assessments pointed to the urgent need for long-term help lasting into next year.

The previous day, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said about 10% of all of Pakistan’s health facilities were damaged in the floods, leaving millions without access to health care.

Riaz Haq said...

#FloodsInPakistan2022: 'Cascading calamities' in #Pakistan drive #UnitedNations to quadruple funding appeal to $816 million. #UN chief António 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 António 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 António 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...

Few countries are as vulnerable as Pakistan. Its cities regularly record some of the hottesttemperatures in the world, including a springtime heat wave this year made 30 times more likely bygreenhouse gases.That set the stage for summer monsoons that saw rainfall reach an intensity more than 50 per centgreater than would have been the case without planet-warming pollution. Both findings come fromWorld Weather Attribution, a leading research group that delivers rapid analysis of the link betweenextreme weather and climate change.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-10-09/how-pakistan-s-flood-crisis-bends-climate-talks-towards-reparations#xj4y7vzkg

This is one example of powerful new evidence in the moral and political argument for climatereparations. As diplomats and world leaders prepare for next month’s annual UN climate summit,known as COP27, there’s likely to be renewed focus on the long-running dispute over who should payfor the devastation wrought by rising temperatures.Speeches and closed-door negotiations will involve calls for payments from high-emitting countries,most of which are wealthier and less vulnerable, to their low-emitting counterparts that suffer climateimpacts. The debate will be informed by the blatant suffering visible on the ground in Pakistan as wellas new data on exactly who is responsible for atmospheric pollution.Working with colleagues from Bloomberg’s data-visualization team, I took a deep look at cutting-edgeresearch into economic attribution for climate damage. Two Dartmouth researchers, ChristopherCallahan and Justin Mankin, recently published a study and data estimating for the first time howmuch economic growth, in terms of GDP, has been lost to developing countries as a result of burningfossil fuel.It’s striking to see estimated dollar figures linking the pollution by the two biggest emitters, the USand China, to more than $60 billion in economic losses for Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

How Pakistan’s Flood Crisis Bends Climate Talks Towards Reparations

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-10-09/how-pakistan-s-flood-crisis-bends-climate-talks-towards-reparations#xj4y7vzkg

Together, the US and China have created enough atmospheric impact to cost the world about $1.8trillion. The US alone was 1990 to 2014, according to research by the Dartmouth team. Mukwana’s experience driving through flooded provinces and walking along highways that havebecome makeshift homes for displaced people unifies the personal and the global in ways few willever experience. That’s because the people pushed aside by flood waters are, in part, victims of a problem even bigger than the monsoon.UN climate negotiations for many years focused almost exclusively on preventing new emissions andthe resulting rise of global average temperatures, a concept called “mitigation” in climate jargon.Diplomats and politicians have also taken up the question of “adaptation” — how nations might find the resources to afford greater resiliency. But Pakistan’s crisis has renewed emphasis on a more oftenignored section of the 2015 Paris Agreement that deals with a concept called “loss and damage.”Since the steepest costs of today’s climate continue to be borne by populations that emitted the least,recognizing loss and damage could mean that nations who gained the most from burning fossil fuelshould pay compensation. It’s a vision of climate reparations — and it’s long been opposed by wealthynations.When nearly 200 national delegations meet next month for COP27 in the Egyptian resort of Sharm ElSheikh, loss and damage is expected to eclipse most other topics on the agenda. In part this stemsfrom the coincidence that a Pakistani diplomat is currently the leader of the largest bloc of developingnations, known as the G77+China. The Egyptian hosts of this summit are also members of the bloc.Loss and damage has struggled to rise up the agenda for years. Developing nations last year went toCOP26 talks in Glasgow, Scotland, pushing for a formal process for dispatching finance and technicalhelp paid for by developed nations.That summit ended with only a loosely defined “dialogue” on the topic. There are fresh indicationsthat loss and damage may be treated with greater attention than ever before at COP27, even if it’s with“diverse views on the scope and timeframes” of how to tackle the issue, according to a briefing sharedon Friday by Ed King, a climate media and policy strategist.If or when countries agree on a structured way to help people deal with climate disasters, it won'tcome fast enough for the millions suffering from this year’s monsoon rains in Pakistan. Estimates ofdamage have tripled to $30 billion since the end of August. UN Office for the Coordination ofHumanitarian Affairs, which Mukwana represents in Pakistan, this week raised by a factor of five its initial aid goal, to $816 million, to pay for triage support through May 2023. Those funds might help blunt a rapidly emerging public-health crisis. But it can’t compensate Pakistan for the brutal consequences of other people’s emissions.“How much can people go through these cyclical kinds of events?” Mukwana asks. “How much of it can people take?

Riaz Haq said...

NASA Earth Observatory on Pakistan Floods:


Flood Woes Continue in Pakistan

https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/150470/flood-woes-continue-in-pakistan

In early September 2022, floods in Pakistan were the worst in a decade. Monsoon rains had pummeled the region for several weeks and floodwaters inundated 75,000 square kilometers of the country. Six weeks later, rains have ceased, and fields have begun to drain. But vast swaths of farmland remain waterlogged, infectious diseases are spreading, and food shortages loom.

The images above show the progression of the flooding. The second image shows Sindh province on August 31, 2022, near the peak of the flooding. By October 13, 2022 (third image), a considerable amount of water had drained off the landscape and back into rivers. But many areas remained wet and waterlogged in comparison to June 2022 (first image). All three images were acquired by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the NOAA-20 satellite. They are false-color images based on VIIRS observations of shortwave infrared and visible light, a combination that makes it easier to distinguish between water (blue) and land (green).

Rains in September 2022 were modest. Rather, the flooding visible in these images was caused by the arrival of torrential monsoon rains that hit southern Pakistan in July and August. (The rains were likely made more intense by climate change, according to the World Weather Attribution Initiative.)

The animation above depicts a satellite-based estimate of rainfall from July 1 to August 31, 2022. The darkest reds reflect the highest amounts of rainfall, with Pakistan’s Sindh and Balochistan provinces seeing the heaviest rains. The data are remotely sensed estimates that come from the Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG), a product of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite mission. Due to the averaging of the satellite data, local rainfall amounts may be significantly higher when measured from the ground. Sindh and Balochistan received four times more rain than usual for this period, according to data from the Pakistan Meteorological Department.

With so much standing water in fields for so many weeks, the floods have taken a toll on Pakistan’s farmers. One satellite-based assessment conducted by researchers at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) forecasted that floodwaters would likely reduce Sindh's cotton crop by 88 percent, rice crop by 80 percent, and sugarcane crop by 61 percent.

“Unlike previous floods, the current floods have inundated areas where there is little possibility that water can drain naturally,” explained Faisal Mueen Qamer, a remote sensing specialist with ICIMOD. “Local governments are currently making cuts to roads and other linear infrastructure to make it easier for the water to flow back to rivers or toward empty lands. Some farmers are operating pumps to help drain their lands before planting winter crops.”

Yet with many fields still waterlogged in October, some farmers may have to delay or abandon planting winter crops, such as wheat. The deaths of more than 1.1 million livestock animals during the flooding has further strained the food system in Pakistan. With food prices soaring, World Food Organization and U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization assessments reported that the number of people requiring emergency food assistance will increase from 7.2 million prior to the flood to 14.6 million from December through March 2023.

Flood-hit communities have also seen outbreaks of waterborne diseases, with news outlets reporting outbreaks of dengue, cholera, and malaria.

Riaz Haq said...

Record #FloodsInPakistan: $40 Billion Of Damage In #Pakistan As #Monsoons Devastate #SouthAsia, roughly $10 billion higher than previous estimates—according to #WorldBank. 1,500 people dead and 33 million people affected. #Sindh #Floods #Rains #Floods https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianbushard/2022/10/19/record-flooding-40-billion-of-damage-in-pakistan-as-monsoons-devastate-south-asia/?sh=98479665481e

Pakistani officials said Wednesday the flooding from historic monsoon rains, which killed nearly 1,500 people and affected 33 million people, was made worse by a lack of “financial and technical resources” for flood response.

Earlier this week, Sharif announced he plans to ask international lenders for billions of dollars in loans for recovery efforts and to rebuild devastated areas, telling the Financial Times the country needs “huge sums of money,” while Pakistani Senator Sherry Rehman said the country has already “repurposed all its existing budgetary envelopes” toward flood relief.

The deadly flooding in Pakistan is one of a handful of catastrophic flood events this year, including ongoing flooding in Nigeria from heavy rain and the release of a dam in neighboring Cameroon that left at least 600 people dead and 2,400 injured, with another 1.4 million displaced.

Major flooding this summer in Bangladesh, China and India also killed more than 100 after rainfall in the area hit a 50-year high, while record rainfall inundated parts of western China killing 300 and damaging 9,000 homes, and flooding in northern China killed 28, destroying nearly 20,000 houses and forcing 120,000 people to evacuate.

The United Nations is asking for $816 million in humanitarian aid for Pakistan, up from a previous request of $160 million, as secondary effects of flooding emerge, including water-borne diseases and hunger—Reuters reported earlier this month the U.N. has so far received $90 million in aid for the country.

Riaz Haq said...

‘It’s the fault of climate change’: Pakistan seeks ‘justice’ after floods
Disaster puts country at forefront of debate about who should pay for ravages of global warming

https://www.ft.com/content/e69ece7d-11fb-4a8f-91ea-35b98d4b54db


When the Indus river burst its banks during heavy rains and flash flooding in late August, Bushra Sarfaraz’s three goats drowned and she lost her home for a second time.

The first time was in Pakistan’s floods in 2010 — the worst in recent memory until this year’s, which submerged vast swaths of low-lying areas, in what officials describe as the worst natural disaster in their country’s history.

“I want to feel settled for once in my life — to live in a place that doesn’t get washed away again and again,” said Sarfaraz, a labourer who is now living with her husband and children in a tent camp on rocky land near Thatta in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province.

While some of those displaced by the calamity have returned home since the waters began receding, others have no homes to return to, and are living in tents near pools of cloudy water, or on the side of roads a few metres above inundated fields.

“Every year the water comes, and every year we drown,” said Qurban Ali Lashari, another labourer displaced by the floods and living in the tent camp.



The disaster puts Pakistan at the forefront of evolving thinking in the international community about how to pay for countries’ adaptation to the ravages of global warming — and who should pick up the bill. Climate change contributed to up to 50 per cent of the rains that made this August the wettest on record in Sindh and neighbouring province Balochistan, according to a study by the World Weather Attribution group.

Pakistan’s government says the floods affected 33mn of its 230mn people, hitting the low-lying and normally arid southern provinces hardest. In flatlands with few slopes, the water that fell in August and September has nowhere to drain, and is evaporating slowly in drier weather.

Pakistan is now preparing to ask donors for new loans to clean up and rebuild infrastructure that would be able to withstand worsening weather patterns, in an effort it estimates will cost $30bn.

“If you look at the numbers, it is the climate event of the century, not just for Pakistan but for the whole world,” said Sherry Rehman, climate change minister. “It surpassed all numbers for climate events, and it is now creating a catastrophic health crisis.”

In the Thatta camp where Sarfaraz and Lashari live — one of 27 in the district — people are being treated for waterborne ailments including malaria, dengue, and diarrhoea. “Skin diseases are very common nowadays,” said Shireen Soomro, a doctor in the camp.

International and Pakistani officials have also warned that many farmers will not be able to sow their crops for months, after their fields were heavily silted by flood water. This, they say, raises fears about food security in a year when prices for foodstuffs soared after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Pakistan was already in severe financial distress when the disaster struck. Days before the downpours and flash flooding hit, Islamabad had secured much-needed loan pledges from China and Gulf countries and a $2.2bn bailout from the IMF.

The UNDP, which is completing an assessment of the country’s recovery and rebuilding needs, last month proposed Pakistan should seek to suspend payments on its $130bn external debt so that it could prioritise its disaster response.

“We can’t service our debts, to be honest,” said Sakib Sherani, chief executive of Macro Economic Insights, a consultancy. “Floods or no floods, we would have had a problem in the next fiscal year.”

Some climate activists have argued that Pakistan’s floods bolster the case for “climate reparations”, or financial transfers from rich countries with the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions to poor countries that emit less but are feeling the brunt of climate change.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s ‘monster disaster’ brings climate compensation into focus

https://www.climatechangenews.com/2022/10/25/pakistans-monster-disaster-shines-a-light-on-compensation/

Extreme flooding over the summer has left an estimated 1,700 people dead, nearly 2 million homes destroyed, and billions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure damage.

UN secretary general Antonio Guterres told diplomats last month that Pakistan was facing “a level of climate carnage beyond imagination” and that it was paying a “supersized price for man-made climate change”. The country has experienced extreme weather before, most notably in 2010 when record monsoon rains also caused widespread damage across the country.

But this year’s flooding feels different. The scale and intensity of the disaster is heightened, impacting vast areas of land and in provinces unused to seeing such rains. Half of the country has been designated as “calamity-hit”, according to the National Disaster Management Authority, with a further 40 districts declared as “flood-affected”. This means 75% of Pakistan has felt the impacts.

This is particularly true of Balochistan in the southwest of the country. Seasonal floods have usually been driven by conditions further north in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces. This year, Balochistan, a huge yet sparsely populated region known more for its desert climate, has been one of the worst affected.

Helvetas, a Swiss international aid agency, has been in Pakistan for 40 years. Dr Arjumand Nizami, the organisation’s country director, tells Climate Home News the flooding was a “monster disaster” and likens it to “someone beating the hell out of the sky”.

Extreme contrasts
Helvetas helps communities to prepare for climate shocks.

This work includes reinforcing protective structures for villages and improving drainage to channel flood water towards agricultural land. Controlling water is important in places such as Balochistan due to frequent and severe drought. When the mountain rains do come, local people need to know how to use it.

It’s these extreme contrasts which make climate adaptation such a challenge in the country. “You either have too much or you have no water,” notes Nizami. “And these kinds of situations are becoming more frequent. We have emergency-like situations which require a humanitarian response. There’s no time for development because it’s one emergency after another.”

The emergency Pakistan now faces is on multiple levels: food shortages in areas which already rely on imports; hundreds of thousands of cattle lost; contaminated drinking supplies; and standing water increasing the likelihood of disease.

On a recent visit to Balochistan, Dr Nizami saw housing loss on such a scale that “one cannot imagine if life was ever there”.

The challenge of rebuilding a country where extreme weather is becoming commonplace is a long term one. And this is where the issue of loss and damage comes in.

In the weeks following the flooding, politicians, and diplomats, least not the UN secretary general, made clear the disconnect between Pakistan’s contribution to global greenhouse gases – less than 1% – and its position on the frontline of the climate crisis.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s ‘monster disaster’ brings climate compensation into focus

https://www.climatechangenews.com/2022/10/25/pakistans-monster-disaster-shines-a-light-on-compensation/


Cop27 negotiations
As calls for climate compensation grow louder, Pakistan’s brutal experience could guide negotiations at Cop27 international negotiations in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt next month. How a deal will translate to the local level is unclear, but the projects that aid agencies, such as Helvetas, are developing can point the way.

Dr Nizami says the debate around loss and damage needs to focus on three areas: improved governance, early preparedness, and local capacity.

Helvetas is already working on these issues, from enhancing water management in remote areas to creating in-depth disaster risk scenarios for the Government. One of the benefits of this approach is cost. It’s cheaper and more effective to prepare for climate disasters before they happen than to conduct crisis management afterwards.

It’s difficult to see how Pakistan can begin to address these problems without outside assistance. The bill for the flooding sits at an estimated $30 billion. Inflation recently reached 27%. And one of the largest packages of financial assistance has come via a $1.17 billion IMF loan. This is clearly insufficient to meet the scale of this year’s extreme weather, let alone what might be round the corner.

“Disasters cannot be stopped. The rains will come,” adds Nizami. 2022’s flooding may serve to raise awareness of the need to fully prepare for the future. The Pakistani government has come a long way since the last major disaster in 2010 and climate change is now firmly on the policy agenda. It’s only by seeing this disaster through a climate lens that we can improve our response, and for the ones which follow.

Riaz Haq said...

Near Kunri, a southern Pakistani town known as Asia's chilli capital, 40-year old farmer Leman Raj rustles through dried plants looking for any of the bright red chillis in his largely destroyed crop which may have survived.

https://widerimage.reuters.com/story/pakistani-farmers-fight-a-losing-battle-to-save-chili-crop

"My crops suffered heavily from the heat, then the rains started, and the weather changed completely. Now, because of the heavy rains we have suffered heavy losses in our crops, and this is what has happened to the chillies," he said, holding up desiccated, rotten plants . "All the chillies have rotted away."

Devastating floods that wrecked havoc across Pakistan in August and September, on the back of several years of high temperatures, have left chilli farmers struggling to cope. In a country heavily dependent on agriculture, the more extreme climate conditions are hitting rural economies hard, farmers and experts say, underscoring the vulnerability of large swathes of South Asia's population to changing weather patterns.

Officials have already estimated damages from the floods at over $40 billion.

Pakistan, with 150,000 acres of chilli farms and producing 143 000 tonnes of chillies annually is ranked fourth in the world for chilli production. Agriculture forms the backbone of Pakistan's economy, which in a country that experts say is extremely vulnerable to climate change poses major risks.

Before the floods, the biggest problem was hotter temperatures, which were making it harder to successfully grow chilli, which needs more moderate conditions.

"When I was a child ... the heat was never so intense. We used to have a plentiful crop, now it has become so hot, and the rains are so scarce that our yields have dwindled," Leman Raj said.

Dr Attaullah Khan, the Director of the Arid Zone Research Centre, at Pakistan's Agricultural Research Council, told Reuters that even before the floods, the region had faced serious problems from heatwaves in the last three years, which was affecting the growth of chilli crops in the area.

Now the floods he said, posed a whole new set of challenges.

"Coming to climate change: how do we overcome that?” he said. "Planning has to be done on a very large scale. Four waterways that used to carry (excess) water to the ocean have to be revived. For that we will have to take some very hard decisions …. but we don't have any other choice."

Many farmers say they have already faced tough decisions.

As flooding inundated his farm a few months ago, Kunri farmer Faisal Gill decided to sacrifice his cotton crops to try to save chilli.

"We constructed dikes around cotton fields and installed pumps, and dug up tranches in the chill crop to accumulate water and pump it out into the cotton crop fields, as both crops are planted side by side," Gill said.

Destroying his cotton enabled him to save saved just 30% of his chilli crop, he said, but that was better than nothing.


In Kunri's bustling wholesale chilli market, Mirch Mandi, the effect is also being felt. Though mounds of bright red chilli dot the market, traders said there is a huge drop on previous years.

"Last year, at this time, there used to be around 8,000 to 10,000 bags of chillies in the market," said trader Raja Daim. "This year, now you can see that there are barely 2,000 bags here, and it is the first day of the week. By tomorrow, and the day after, it will become even less,” he said, adding an average day later in the week just 1,000 bags reached the market.

Riaz Haq said...

World News | Pakistan: Most Flood Victims Back Home, Few Remain in Camps | LatestLY

https://www.latestly.com/agency-news/world-news-pakistan-most-flood-victims-back-home-few-remain-in-camps-4404893.html

The country's disaster management agency said the latest data shows that slightly less than 50,000 people are currently staying in camps in Sindh, compared to half a million who were living in tents there in September.

The record-breaking floods — which were worsened by climate change-- that hit Pakistan last summer — killed 1,735 people and displaced 33 million. In Sindh alone, the floods affected 12 million p ..Last month,


Pakistan has asked the international community to scale up a ..the World Bank estimated that the floods caused ..$40 billion in damages ..

Harsh winter weather could worsen the misery of flood victim ..

report said 98% of the area for wheat cultivation remains available ..for the next planting season — a positive sign as Pakistan h ..

Riaz Haq said...

UN: 2 million children in flood-hit Pakistan missing school
The U.N. children’s agency says some 2 million children in areas of Pakistan devastated by floods this summer are still missing school

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/million-children-flood-hit-pakistan-missing-school-92592224

The U.N. children’s agency said on Thursday that some 2 million children in areas of Pakistan devastated by this summer's floods are still missing school.

The deluge, which began in mid-June, damaged or destroyed nearly 27,000 school buildings, UNICEF said, adding that it would likely be weeks, even months before flood waters completely subside. In some places, only rooftops of the school buildings are starting to emerge now, it said.

The record-breaking floods — which experts say were worsened by climate change — killed 1,735 people and displaced 33 million across Pakistan, mostly in the hardest-hit provinces of Sindh and Baluchistan.

According to Pakistani officials, 647 children were among those killed by the flooding.

UNICEF's education chief, Robert Jenkins, visited some of the flood survivors on Thursday, and later said it was unclear when the children who are still missing classes would be able to return to school.

“Almost overnight, millions of Pakistan’s children lost family members, homes, safety, and their education, under the most traumatic circumstances,” Jenkins said following the visit.

UNICEF has established more than 500 temporary learning centers in flood-hit districts and provided support and school supplies for teachers and flood victims.

Pakistan has also asked the international community to scale up aid for the country's flood survivors, now threatened by the upcoming winter.

On Wednesday, China announced an additional $68 million in aid to Pakistan, bringing China’s flood assistance to Pakistan to $150 million. The announcement came during Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s visit to Beijing.

China has so far been the largest contributor in response to Pakistan floods, followed by Washington, which has given $97 million in aid since June. The World Bank has estimated that the floods caused $40 billion in damages.

Riaz Haq said...

Evangelical scientist Katharine Hayhoe finds hope in United Nations’ climate report
'That's how the world changes: When individuals have the courage of their convictions and use their voices to call for change,' the climate scientist told Religion News Service.


https://religionnews.com/2022/03/14/evangelical-scientist-katharine-hayhoe-finds-hope-in-united-nations-climate-report/

Question: What are your takeaways from the latest IPCC report?


Answer: The IPCC reports are like doorstops of doom — thousands of pages that summarize the results of tens of thousands of peer reviewed scientific studies that are once again clearly stating that climate is changing, humans are responsible, the impacts are serious and the time to act is now.

So what’s new about this latest report? It shows why it matters. It says: Here’s what is already happening right here, right now. No matter where you live, here’s how climate change is affecting your water, your food, the safety of your homes, your economy, your energy systems, even national security, our ecosystems, our agriculture. Here is how these changes are affecting us. Here is how unequally these changes are distributed. It shows very clearly how the impacts of climate change fall disproportionately on the poorest and most vulnerable people. The 3.5 billion poorest in the world have produced 7% of heat-trapping gas emissions, yet they’re bearing the brunt of the impacts. And that speaks profoundly to us as people of faith.

What the report also says is that we are not adapting fast enough to the changes we’ve already seen, and if we don’t cut our emissions as much as possible, as soon as possible, we will not be able to adapt.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan may become unbearably hot by end of the century

https://www.dawn.com/news/1719270


New UNDP report on COP27 eve predicts number of ‘extremely hot days’ could rise to 179 by year 2099

Meteorologists note spring has nearly vanished, extreme heatwaves becoming all too common

https://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/HCH/HCH_PR_en.pdf

Even as the government prepares to make a case for climate justice at the UN climate conference (COP27) that starts today (Sunday), an alarming new United Nations report predicts that Pakistan’s average annual temperature will increase to 22.4 degrees Celsius within the next decade and a half, and would cross the 26oC threshold by the end of the century.

The fresh report also warns that on average, the number of hot days in a year — i.e. when the temperature remains above 35 Celsius — will be 124 by the end of 2030, and this number will rise to 179 by the year 2099.

At 35 Celsius, the human body struggles to cool down through perspiration alone — hence raising the risk of death from overheating.


The Human Climate Horizons platform, a collaboration between the United Nations Development Progra­mme (UNDP) and the Climate Impact Lab, provides insights into the direction and magnitude of changes in the climate, like the number of extremely hot days each year and the impact of those changes on human welfare.

According to a UNDP press release, the new data shows the need to act qui­ckly, not only to mitigate climate cha­nge but also to adapt to its consequences.

“For instance, in Faisalabad, Pakistan, even with moderate mitigation, additional deaths due to climate change would average 36 per 100,000 people each year between 2020-2039. Without substantially expanding adaptation efforts, Faisalabad could expect annual climate change-related death rates to nearly double, reaching 67 deaths per 100,000 by midcentury. An increment almost as deadly as strokes, currently Pakistan’s third leading cause of death,” the statement says.

The latest warnings corroborate findings and concerns that have been raised by local experts over the past several years, who have long been insisting that climate change is no longer an approaching challenge, rather it is “happening right now”.

“In the very recent past, the Pakistan Meteorological Depart­ment (PMD) conducted a thorough research for an international organization, which should also have set alarms bell ringing,” says Nadeem Faisal, former director of the Climate Data Processing Centre — a key unit within the PMD.

He referred to the findings of a previous study, which suggested that Pakistan has warmed considerably since the early 1960s, with more warming witnessed in daytime maximum temperatures than night-time minimum temperatures.

“An analysis of the data revealed that the annual mean temperature has risen for the country as a whole by 0.74°C over the last 58 years by 2019, which is quite alarming,” he said. “The recent changes in weather conditions very much manifest the authenticity of this finding.”

The change in the mean temperature has been accompanied by a large increase in extreme temperatures. Since 2011, the number of extreme heat records being set in Pakistan has increased significantly. The frequency of very warm months (May–August) has also increased manifold over the recent decade.

While high-temperature extremes have increased significantly, low-temperature extremes are less frequent, the report says. The observation supplements a warning in latest UN reports, which predict that Hyderabad in Sindh is likely to become the hottest city in the world by the year 2100, with its highest average temperature reaching 29.9°C to 32°C. It is expected to outrank Jacobabad, Bahawal­nagar and Bahawalpur by that time.


Riaz Haq said...

Flood-hit Indus Highway to be completely restored within five days, SHC told

https://www.dawn.com/news/1717383



Larkana Commissioner Ghanwar Ali Leghari informed the bench that dewatering efforts were hampered as SCARP’s pumping stations in about 12 talukas — badly affected by flooding during the recent unprecedented rainfall — could not be operated for want of uninterrupted electric supply.


The irrigation secretary assured the bench that all talukas would be cleared of stagnant water within the next 30 days.

The court asked the Sukkur Electric Supply Company (Sepco) chief executive officer to make sure that pumping stations were supplied uninterrupted power till the draining of water in these talukas. The officials were also asked to arrange for power generators to run the pumping stations and also identify the areas where Sepco should ensure proper power supply.

National Highways Authority (NHA) officials submitted in court that barring a few sections, Indus Highway was opened for vehicles. They said the remaining sections would be mended within the next four-five days.

The bench was also informed that the ‘ring bund’ raised to save Dadu and Mehar towns from ravage of floodwaters had since been removed.

The bench appreciated the irrigation department, NHA and local administration for their efforts in restoring the Indus Highway between Mehar and Kakar, though except for a few sections.

The court also asked the deputy commissioners of Larkana, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Kandhkot-Kashmore and Dadu, in their capacity as district directors of Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), to ensure provision of food and health facilities to displaced people living in tent cities. Larkana district health officers were directed to provide adequate medicines to these people.

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...

Parties at COP27 Add Loss and Damage to the Agenda, But Won’t Discuss Which Countries Are Responsible or Who Should Pay
After enduring unprecedented climate disasters, Pakistan pushed talks about the costs of climate change onto the agenda. The U.N. secretary general calls the discussions a “moral imperative.”
Zoha Tunio
By Zoha Tunio
November 7, 2022


https://insideclimatenews.org/news/07112022/cop27-loss-and-damage-pakistan/


SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt—The United Nations climate summit officially opened on Sunday with the addition of negotiations over funding to compensate nations for “loss and damage” funding as an official agenda item.

Inclusion of the controversial topic—which poorer countries that are enduring the greatest harms from climate change see as critical to fairness in addressing global warming, and wealthy nations that have produced the vast majority of the emissions driving those damages have long resisted—required negotiations through the night leading up to the opening of the conference. And the victory is only partial for the parties advocating to include loss and damage in the negotiations, as the agenda item does not include discussions of how to determine liability or payments for the harms of human-caused climate change.

The agenda item was proposed by Pakistan, which in recent months incurred heavy losses in unprecedented floods that covered a third of the country, during talks in Bonn earlier this year in the leadup to the U.N.’s 27th Conference of the Parties opening this week. It is the first time in the history of the U.N. climate summits that parties in the negotiations have reached a consensus to include funding for loss and damage as an official agenda item.

“My country, Pakistan, has seen floods that have left 33 million lives in tatters and have caused loss and damage amounting to 10 percent of the GDP,” said Ambassador Munir Akram, the 2022 chair of the G77—a group of 134 developing countries, many of which are on the front lines of climate change—at the opening ceremony for COP27, where he urged that a finance mechanism be dedicated to addressing losses and damages. Pakistan recently has experienced a series of extreme weather events, including an extended heatwave in March when temperatures in the south rose close to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

In his opening remarks at the conference, United Nations Secretary General Anotonio Gutteres called for international solidarity, but also a recognition that the populations that have done little to cause global warming bear the brunt of its impacts. “Those who contributed least to the climate crisis are reaping the whirlwind sown by others,” he said.

But even as loss and damage discussions are now expected to feature prominently during this year’s conference, the adoption of the agenda item did not come without caveats. To reach consensus, negotiators had to take discussions of liability and compensation off the table. That’s prompted concerns that the damages from climate change to developing nations could continue to be paid for with humanitarian aid, rather than from funds set aside by the wealthy nations that have done the most to cause the warming.

But civil society organizations and environmental activists say financial support for countries at the frontlines of climate change should not be charity.

“It has to come from reparations,” said Mohamed Adow, founder and director of Power Shift Africa, a civil society organization geared toward mobilizing climate action.


Riaz Haq said...

Parties at COP27 Add Loss and Damage to the Agenda, But Won’t Discuss Which Countries Are Responsible or Who Should Pay
After enduring unprecedented climate disasters, Pakistan pushed talks about the costs of climate change onto the agenda. The U.N. secretary general calls the discussions a “moral imperative.”
Zoha Tunio
By Zoha Tunio
November 7, 2022


https://insideclimatenews.org/news/07112022/cop27-loss-and-damage-pakistan/



Loss and damage was highlighted earlier this year in the Sixth Assessment Report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and became a topic of intense discussion across the globe following the devastating floods in Pakistan. But the countries in the Global North are yet to accept responsibility. In a statement prior to COP27, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry expressed concern about how the shifting focus on loss and damage “could delay our ability to do the most important thing of all, which is [to] achieve mitigation sufficient to reduce the level of adaptation.”

Still, as science increasingly shows how costly disasters in the developing world are driven by global warming caused by wealthy nations, those advocating to attribute liability for losses and damages for climate change and determine appropriate reparations are pressing their arguments.

“Climate attribution is on our side, we can now say Pakistan’s floods were triggered by climate change, which is largely caused by the Global North, but that translates into nothing until they admit fault,” Ahmad Rafay Alam, environmental lawyer and member of the Pakistan delegation at COP27, told Inside Climate News.

Pakistan’s floods this year caused more than $30 billion in damages. The climate catastrophe triggered conversations about loss and damage financing and climate reparations across the Global South. While the adoption of loss and damage as an agenda item is being hailed as a win for Pakistan and the G77, delegates, activists and civil society members remain skeptical about the outcomes of the conference.

“If the liability is not there then who will finance these loss and damage mechanisms?” said Muhammad Arif Goheer, the lead negotiator for Pakistan and the principal scientific officer in the nation’s Ministry of Climate Change. “We may not reach a decision on this anytime soon.”

Despite the skepticism, Pakistan’s delegation is determined to highlight loss and damage financing through the negotiating process. And they have significant support.

U.N. Secretary General Guterres, in a joint press conference alongside Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, urged nations to make global commitments towards loss and damage. “The international community has a duty towards Pakistan,” he said.

But, as with many other issues in the climate negotiations, success in the discussions of loss and damage will be measured by the concrete steps that all the nations agree to take—consensus that historically has been hard to come by.

“The litmus test of this and every future COP is how far deliberations are accompanied by action,” said Simon Stiell, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, at the opening plenary. “Everybody, every single day, everywhere in the world, needs to do everything they possibly can to avert the climate crisis.”

For the Pakistan delegation, and many others from developing nations, this means pushing for a roadmap to establish loss and damage financing mechanisms. “If we’re able to push the conversation forward that will be a move in the right direction,” said Goheer.

This story was produced as part of the 2022 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security.


Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's lost city of 40,000 people

https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20221114-pakistans-lost-city-of-40000-people


In the dusty plains of present-day Sindh in southern Pakistan lie the remains of one of the world's most impressive ancient cities (Moenjo-Daro)that most people have never heard of.

-----


Now, several thousand years later, the city is once again in danger after devastating super floods hit Pakistan in August 2022. Dr Asma Ibrahim, an archaeologist and museologist who's been involved in preservation work all over the country, confirmed that while Mohenjo-daro had been damaged, the flooding to the site was less than archaeologists had originally feared.

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


I was about an hour outside of the dusty town of Larkana in southern Pakistan at the historical site of Mohenjo-daro. While today only ruins remain, 4,500 years ago this was not only one of the world's earliest cities, but a thriving metropolis featuring highly advanced infrastructures.

Mohenjo-daro – which means "mound of the dead men" in Sindhi – was the largest city of the once-flourishing Indus Valley (also known as Harappan) Civilisation that ruled from north-east Afghanistan to north-west India during the Bronze Age. Believed to have been inhabited by at least 40,000 people, Mohenjo-daro prospered from 2500 to 1700 BCE.

"It was an urban centre that had social, cultural, economic and religious linkages with Mesopotamia and Egypt," explained Irshad Ali Solangi, a local guide who is the third generation of his family to work at Mohenjo-daro.

But compared to the cities of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, which thrived around the same time, few have heard of Mohenjo-daro. By 1700 BCE, it was abandoned, and to this day, no-one is sure exactly why the inhabitants left or where they went.

Archaeologists first came across the ancient city in 1911 after hearing reports of some brickwork in the area. However, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) dismissed the bricks as not having any kind of antiquity and the site remained undisturbed for several more years. It wasn't until 1922 that R D Banerji, an ASI officer, believed he saw a buried stupa, a mound-like structure where Buddhists typically meditate. This led to large-scale excavations – most notably by British archaeologist Sir John Marshall – and the eventual naming of Mohenjo-daro as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1980. The remains they uncovered revealed a level of urbanisation not previously seen in history, with Unesco lauding Mohenjo-daro as the "best preserved" ruin of the Indus Valley.

Perhaps the city's most surprising feature was a sanitation system that was far beyond its contemporaries. While drainage and private toilets were seen in Egypt and Mesopotamia, they were luxuries of the rich. In Mohenjo-daro, concealed toilets and covered drains were everywhere. Since excavations began, more than 700 wells have been recovered, in addition to a system of private baths, including a 12m x 7m "Great Bath" for communal use. Incredibly, toilets were found in many private residences, and waste was covertly disposed of through a sophisticated, city-wide sewage system.

------

Mohenjo-daro's ability to master the arts of sanitation and sewage disposal were not the only advanced features that set the inhabitants apart from other early civilisations. Archaeologists have noted the use of standardised building materials, despite a dearth of machines.

"All the bricks have a ratio of 4:2:1, even if they are not of the same shape," Rizvi explained. "It's important to recognise that all these bricks are following a sensibility of sorts. There's a sense of what they want their city to look like. If you make everything to a ratio, even the spaces that you are walking through then inherently follow a certain sensibility of a ratio as well."

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Flood Recovery Plan Key to Continued Financial Support -IMF

https://money.usnews.com/investing/news/articles/2022-11-23/imf-finalising-flood-recovery-plan-by-pakistan-is-key-to-continued-financial-support

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's timely finalisation of a recovery plan from devastating floods is essential to support discussions and continued financial support from multilateral and bilateral partners, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Wednesday.

Pakistan was already battling a full-blown economic crisis, with decades-high inflation and dwindling foreign exchange reserves, when it was hit by floods earlier this year. It had entered a $6 billion IMF bailout programme in 2019, and the ninth review is currently pending.

"The timely finalization of the recovery plan is essential to support the discussions, along with continuing financial support from multilateral and bilateral partners," IMF resident representative Esther Perez Ruiz said in a message to Reuters.

She added that IMF staff is continuing discussions with Pakistani authorities over policies to reprioritize and better target support toward humanitarian needs, while accelerating reform efforts to preserve economic and fiscal sustainability.

Devastating floods killed more than 1,700 people and inflicted billions of dollars of damage. Pakistani authorities' estimates of the damage have varied from $10 billion to $40 billion.

Pakistan's finance ministry said last week that it would "expeditiously" finish technical engagement with the IMF as part of the ninth review of the programme, but a firm date for the review completion is yet to be announced.

The funds will be a lifeline for the South Asian nation, which is struggling to convince international markets and ratings agencies that it has the funds to meet external financing requirements, including debt repayments.

Pakistan has a $1 billion international bond repayment due early next month. Its total foreign reserves with the central bank stood at $7.9 billion as of last week.

(Reporting by Gibran Peshimam; Editing by William Maclean and Leslie Adler)

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...

Flood Woes Continue in Pakistan
https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/150470/flood-woes-continue-in-pakistan



In early September 2022, floods in Pakistan were the worst in a decade. Monsoon rains had pummeled the region for several weeks and floodwaters inundated 75,

000 square kilometers of the country. Six weeks later, rains have ceased, and fields have begun to drain. But vast swaths of farmland remain waterlogged, infectious diseases are spreading, and food shortages loom.

The images above show the progression of the flooding. The second image shows Sindh province on August 31, 2022, near the peak of the flooding. By October 13, 2022 (third image), a considerable amount of water had drained off the landscape and back into rivers. But many areas remained wet and waterlogged in comparison to June 2022 (first image). All three images were acquired by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the NOAA-20 satellite. They are false-color images based on VIIRS observations of shortwave infrared and visible light, a combination that makes it easier to distinguish between water (blue) and land (green).

Rains in September 2022 were modest. Rather, the flooding visible in these images was caused by the arrival of torrential monsoon rains that hit southern Pakistan in July and August. (The rains were likely made more intense by climate change, according to the World Weather Attribution Initiative.)

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...

Mango farmers in Pakistan say production of the prized fruit has fallen by up to 40 percent in some areas because of high temperatures and water shortages in a country identified as one of the most vulnerable to climate change.

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220711-pakistan-s-prized-mango-harvest-hit-by-water-scarcity

The arrival of mango season in Pakistan is eagerly anticipated, with around two dozen varieties arriving through the hot, humid summers.

This year, however, temperatures rose sharply in March -- months earlier than usual -- followed by heatwaves that damaged crops and depleted water levels in canals farmers depend on for irrigation.

"Usually I pick 24 truckloads of mangoes... this year I have only got 12," said Fazle Elahi, counting the bags lined up by his farm.

"We are doomed."

The country is among the world's top exporters of mangoes, harvesting nearly two million tons annually across southern parts of Punjab and Sindh.

The total harvest is yet to be measured, but production is already short by at least 20 to 40 per cent in most areas, according to Gohram Baloch, a senior official at the Sindh provincial government's agriculture department.

Umar Bhugio, who owns swaths of orchards outside Mirpur Khas -- locally known as the city of mangoes -- said his crops received less than half the usual amount of water this year.

"Mango growers confronted two problems this year: one was the early rise in temperatures, and secondly the water shortage," he said.

Pakistan is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world, a problem made worse by poor infrastructure and mismanagement of resources.


It also ranks as the country eighth most-vulnerable to extreme weather due to climate change, according to the Global Climate Risk Index compiled by environmental NGO Germanwatch.

Floods, droughts and cyclones in recent years have killed and displaced thousands, destroyed livelihoods and damaged infrastructure.

"The early rise of temperatures increased the water intake by crops. It became a contest among different crops for water consumption," said food security expert Abid Suleri, head of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

A rise in temperature is generally expected in the mango belt in early May, which helps the fruit ripen before picking starts in June and July.

But the arrival of summer as early as March damaged the mango flowers, a key part of the reproductive cycle.

"The mango should weigh over 750 grams but this year we picked very undersized fruit," Elahi said.

Known in South Asia as the "king of fruits", the mango originated in the Indian subcontinent.

The country's most treasured variety is the golden-yellow Sindhri, known for its rich flavour and juicy pulp.

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...

World Bank approves $1.69 bln for Pakistan flood relief projects

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/world-bank-approves-169-bln-pakistan-flood-relief-projects-2022-12-20/


Pakistan's already stressed economy took a further hit after severe floods earlier this year submerged large swathes of the country, killing nearly 1,700 people, damaging farmlands and infrastructure.

The World Bank financing is aimed at relief projects in the south-eastern Sindh province, which it said was worst-affected by the floods.

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...

Dozens of countries and international institutions on Monday pledged more than $9 billion to help Pakistan recover and rebuild from devastating summer floods, with the sum set to balloon further at a U.N.-backed conference to help the country through what the U.N. chief called “a climate disaster of monumental scale.”

https://apnews.com/article/floods-politics-pakistan-macron-united-nations-8681331c40882bd95d6280873733d9db

The flooding killed more than 1,700 people, destroyed more than 2 million homes, and covered as much as one-third of the country at one point, causing damage totaling more than $30 billion, officials say. Large swaths of the country remain under water, with millions living near contaminated or stagnant waters, the U.N. says.

After a midday break, Pakistani Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb tweeted that $8.57 billion had been offered up to that point — exceeding an initial target to meet half of the government’s estimated needs of some $16.3 billion to respond to the flooding. The other half is expected to come from the Pakistani government itself.

She listed the top donors as the Islamic Development Bank, with $4.2 billion; the World Bank, at $2 billion; the Asian Development Bank, at $1.5 billion. She said the European Union had pledged $93 million, Germany $88 million, China $100 million, and Japan $77 million. The United States said separately was doubling its allocation, announcing another $100 million on top of a similar amount already committed to Pakistan.

The interim tally from Aurangzeb did not include, for example, a pledge of $1 billion from Saudi Arabia. Wealthy and traditionally generous Nordic countries and others were continuing to announce their commitments Monday afternoon.

The conference has shaped up as a test case of just how much wealthy nations would pitch in to help developing-world countries like Pakistan manage the impact of climatic swoons, and brace for other disasters.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres attended in-person and other world leaders such as French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took part virtually.

“We need to be honest about the brutal injustice of loss and damage suffered by developing countries because of climate change,” Guterres told the gathering. “If there is any doubt about loss and damage — go to Pakistan. There is loss. There is damage. The devastation of climate change is real.”

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...

Pakistanis build climate-resilient homes in aftermath of devastating floods | PBS NewsHour

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/pakistanis-build-climate-resilient-homes-in-aftermath-of-devastating-floods

For mass shelter projects, she (Yasmeen Lari) found a game-changing substitute in lime, an abundant mineral that, mixed with traditional mud, becomes stable and water-resistant, she says.

----------

Pakistan is struggling to recover from last year’s cataclysmic flooding that killed more than 1,700. It was the latest in a string of weather-related disasters the country has faced over the past two decades, prompting calls to make hard-hit communities more resilient as they rebuild. Fred de Sam Lazaro reports from the flood-ravaged Sindh province, in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

On a recent morning here in rural Sindh Province, workers, including residents of Pano (ph), a model village, were building bamboo frames for construction.

The need for durable shelter is overwhelming in a country still grappling with an enormous rebuilding effort. Last year's unrelenting rains wiped away hundreds of thousands of mud huts across rural areas. Standing water still covers acres of land once home to villages of mostly sharecroppers and farm laborers.

The village of Pano and 12 others are the brainchild of globally acclaimed architect Yasmeen Lari, the first female to qualify as an architect in Pakistan; 82-year-old Lari has won several awards in a career that focused at first on designing modern buildings, like the Finance and Trade Center in Pakistan's commercial capital, Karachi.

Yasmeen Lari, Architect:

You must about the architect that we're all trained to control everything, nothing should be different from what we have decided, what we design.

And here was a different way of working altogether, where you have to lose your ego.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

In retirement, she found her calling at the intersection of architecture and social justice, she says, beginning with the devastating 2005 earthquake in Kashmir, where she planned to spend three months doing relief work.

Yasmeen Lari:

While it didn't quite work out that way. I found there was plenty to do there.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

Her focus shifted with the urgent need for structures that can be built quickly and sustainably in a country slammed in recent years by extreme climate events, moving away from concrete and steel, and using more local low-carbon and low-cost materials.

Yasmeen Lari:

When I was a practicing architect, I built some huge, monster buildings with a lot of concrete and steel.

And I found that 40 percent of carbon emissions are because of the conventional construction.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

Among her signature projects is this pedestrian-only street in the heart of Karachi, emphasizing green space and terra-cotta tile, which drain rainwater much faster than the usual concrete.

Yasmeen Lari:

Concrete is the worst thing, because everything becomes totally impervious.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

For mass shelter projects, she found a game-changing substitute in lime, an abundant mineral that, mixed with traditional mud, becomes stable and water-resistant, she says.

Yasmeen Lari:

I found it was an absolutely miracle material, because it stabilized the earth completely and could last for years if you submerge it in water. And we have tested that.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

Lari's structures incorporate climate-smart design and materials with traditional ones. The key is to build on higher ground, add a short platform for additional protection from floodwaters, and use a sloped, thatched roof.

Yasmeen Lari:

It's made out of eight prefab panels. And then it has a structure, a roof which is like an umbrella. So, there's a huge amount of air movement. So it's very comfortable inside.

My own dream is really that if I could just save people from displacement, if they could be just these structures which will make sure that people can stay in them.

Riaz Haq said...

Monthly December 2022
ECONOMIC UPDATE & OUTLOOK Pakistan

https://www.finance.gov.pk/economic/economic_update_December_2022.pdf

The government has decided to include
transgenders in the Benazir Kafalat
programme for the first time to mobilize
this marginalized community, so that the
maximum number of transgender
persons could benefit from this policy.
PPAF through its 24 Partner
Organizations has disbursed 41,369
interest free loans amounting to Rs 1.70
billion during the month of November,
2022. Since inception of interest free loan
component, a total of 2,142,190 interest
free loans amounting to Rs 78.54 billion
have been disbursed to the borrowers.
During January-November 2022 Bureau
of Emigration and Overseas Employment
has registered 762,767 emigrants and
71055 emigrants during November, 2022
for overseas employment in different
countries.

According to WHO, cases of malaria,
cholera, acute watery diarrheal diseases,
and dengue fever are declining in most of
the flood-affected districts. Overall,
malaria cases have reduced to around
50,000 from over 100,000 confirmed
cases in early October. Malaria cases
have declined by 25% in Balochistan, 58%
in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and 67% in
Sindh provinces. However, high malaria
and cholera cases are still being reported
in some pocket districts in Sindh and
Balochistan where standing water
remains. In November 2022, around 70
suspected cases of Diphtheria were
reported from the flood-affected
provinces of KP, Sindh, and Punjab.
There are about 1.6 million children with
Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) across
all the flood-affected districts who need
treatment with Ready to Use Therapeutic
Food (RUTF). About 400,000 of these
children are in the 34 Government High
Priority Districts (GHPD). Bridging the
nutrition budget gap for an aggressive
sector-wide response is therefore very
critical. (OCHA, Flood situation report on
Pakistan, December, 06, 2022).

Riaz Haq said...

Monthly December 2022
ECONOMIC UPDATE & OUTLOOK Pakistan

https://www.finance.gov.pk/economic/economic_update_December_2022.pdf


Real Sector:
For Rabi season 2022-23, wheat crop
has been sown on an area of 20.77
million acres . The input situation is 1
expected to remain favorable due to
incentives announced in Kissan Package
2022 that will boost agriculture
productivity. The better input situation is
expected to increase crops production in
Rabi season. According to IRSA the
irrigation water supply recorded at 6.32
MAF for November 2022 against the last
year's supply of 5.50 MAF, increased by
0.82 MAF.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded
at 23.8 percent on a YoY basis in
November 2022 as compared to 26.6
percent in the previous month