Photo Credit: Guillermo Legaria
Angelina Jolie, a prominent Hollywood actress and activist, headed to Pakistan to assist flood victims and survivors. According to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Jolie’s visit is an attempt to raise awareness of the country’s ongoing humanitarian situation.
According to analysts, the country is now enduring harsh weather, which has caused over a third of the country’s territory to be already inundated. In addition, water levels all around the nation have significantly increased as a result of the record showers and melting glaciers in Northern Pakistan.
One thousand five hundred individuals have died, and more than 33 million people have been affected by the phenomenon, causing Pakistan to suffer immensely. As well as causing irreversible harm to crops and cattle, the rains and floods have also washed away infrastructure, including homes, railroads, and roadways.
The worst-affected areas, according to Pakistani authorities, might see flooding for up to six months. The danger for waterborne illnesses like dengue and cholera will rise, health experts swiftly noted, should flooding persist for extended durations.
Due to the circumstances being experienced by the Pakistani people, UNICEF has issued a warning and stated that the nation needs “immediate, lifesaving support,” particularly for the estimated 3.4 million children who are being harmed by the phenomena.
Jolie’s visit is beneficial
“[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,” stated the IRC in a statement.
According to the group, the actress would be helping those working for the IRC-managed local agencies and response operations.
“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,” the statement added.
Jolie visited the nation after natural disasters wreaked havoc on some parts in 2005 and 2010. The organization stated that it will also help the actress grasp that many innocent men, women, and children are suffering from a situation “they did not cause.”
Climate change causes the problem
According to United Nations Secretary Antonio Guterres and the Pakistani government, if anything is to be held responsible for the heavy monsoon rains, it is global climate change. The tragedy caused by climate change is visible to both the UN and the Pakistani government.
Pakistan is also in danger of a food catastrophe due to looming food supply constraints, in addition to the recent rains. A 70% overall estimate of damage from the floods includes the destruction of rice and corn. Estimates place the disaster’s damages at $30 billion as of this moment.
According to Sherry Rehman, the minister of climate change for Pakistan, the nation is currently dealing with the worst humanitarian catastrophe in a decade. As food, medication, and tents were needed, the minister further pleaded for assistance from the world community.
“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,” stated Rehman.
Despite the assistance that has previously been offered by nations like the United Kingdom, analysts feel that it is inadequate.
“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 Ayesha Siddiqi, University of Cambridge geographer.
“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.”