“On the Edge of a Precipice”
Humanitarian aid in Pakistan is lacking
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Pakistan is on the brink of an abyss after the devastating floods of recent months.
The devastating floods in Pakistan this summer have intensified debate over an issue of climate justice. Photo: Arshad Butt/AP/dpa
Eight million people need medical help, Cairo-based WHO emergency relief director for the region Rick Brennan said Tuesday via video link to journalists in Geneva. So far, the WHO has received less than ten percent of the $81 million (€81.5 million) it needs for the emergency operation. The entire United Nations emergency aid plan for Pakistan, amounting to 816 million euros, is only 16 percent covered so far.
According to the official figures, 1,600 people died in the floods in the South Asian country with more than 225 million inhabitants. Millions of people were made homeless and countless bridges, roads, houses, fields, clinics and hospitals were destroyed or damaged.
While the water levels receded, Brennan said they left endless breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and measles spread. Because clean drinking water is not available in many places and wastewater is not disposed of properly, there is a risk of more diarrheal diseases. From July to early October, 540,000 cases of malaria were reported. Thousands of infected people could die without adequate treatment.
The number of acutely malnourished children is increasing rapidly. It is still unclear how the next harvest will turn out due to the flooding. This week the government in Russia ordered more than 300,000 tons of wheat to prevent a looming hunger crisis.