Photo Credit: Guillermo Legaria
Angelina Jolie, an activist and actress from Hollywood, arrived in Pakistan to aid flood victims and survivors. According to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Jolie’s visit is an effort to call attention to the humanitarian catastrophe that the country is now experiencing.
Due to the terrible weather the country has been experiencing, analysts have reported that roughly a third of the country’s territory is already underwater. In addition, water levels have risen dramatically throughout the nation due to the record precipitation and melting glaciers in Northern Pakistan.
With 1,500 fatalities and an impact on more than 33 million people, Pakistan has suffered a great deal as a result of the phenomenon. The rain and flooding have also destroyed infrastructure, including roads, trains, and residences, and caused permanent damage to livestock and crops.
Authorities in Pakistan are concerned that the floods may linger in the worst-affected districts for another six months. Health professionals promptly remarked that, should flooding persist over long durations, the danger for waterborne illnesses, including dengue and cholera, will rise.
UNICEF has been made aware of the circumstances encountered by Pakistani people and has stated that the nation needs “immediate, lifesaving support,” particularly for the estimated 3.4 million children afflicted by the phenomena.
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The country can benefit from Jolie’s visit
“[Jolie] is visiting to witness and gain an understanding of the situation, and to hear from people affected directly about their needs, and about steps to prevent such suffering in the future,” the IRC said in a statement.
The group stated that the actress would be aiding individuals in the IRC-managed local organizations and response activities.
“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,” added the statement from the IRC.
Jolie has already visited the nation after natural disasters hit various sections in 2005 and 2010. According to the group, doing so would also help the actress realize that many innocent men, women, and children are impacted by a situation “they did not cause.”
The root of the problem is climate change
According to United Nations Secretary Antonio Guterres and the government of Pakistan, if anything is accused of the heavy monsoon rains, it is global climate change. The tragedy brought on by climate change is evident to both the UN and the Pakistani government.
Aside from the continuous rains, Pakistan is also facing a food crisis due to impending supply constraints. According to estimates, 70% of the damage from the floods was caused to maize and rice, and the disaster’s losses currently amount to $30 billion.
According to Sherry Rehman, the minister of climate change for Pakistan, the nation is currently dealing with the biggest humanitarian catastrophe in a decade. As food, medication, and tents are required, the minister further appealed for assistance from the international community.
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“Karachi is seeing an outbreak of dengue as hundreds and thousands of patients are reporting daily at government and private hospitals. The dengue cases this year are 50% higher than last year. With 584,246 people in camps throughout the country, the health crisis could wreak havoc if it will go unchecked,” Rehman stated.
Even while aid has already been sent by nations like the United Kingdom, analysts think it is insufficient.
“The kind of assistance that’s coming in right now is a pittance. A number of Western economies have argued that they’re suffering their own crises, because of the war in Ukraine and various other issues,” said a University of Cambridge geographer, Ayesha Siddiqi.
“The big global news [in 2010] was all about ‘We must help Pakistan, or the Islamists will win. And this time around, of course, we don’t have the same geopolitical imperative to help Pakistan, and so the aid has really been a pittance.”