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#Pakistan Floods

# pakistan-floods - Tuesday 7 September, 2010

Pakistan prepares for next barrage of floods

UN says 10 million people are without shelter as floods continue to strike Pakistan. But that’s not stopping the Taliban.

From The Daily Edge Angelina Jolie visits flood-struck Pakistan Pakistan This post contains videos

Angelina Jolie visits flood-struck Pakistan

Actress releases UN refugee agency appeal video for aid to Pakistan alongside visit with flood victims.

# pakistan-floods - Saturday 28 August, 2010

Fresh flood crisis hits Pakistan

Tens of thousands have fled the southern Pakistani city of Thatta, as powerful floodwaters break through the city’s barriers.

# pakistan-floods - Monday 23 August, 2010

A SENIOR UNICEF official has described the lack of support displayed by the international community for Pakistan in its time of need as “quite extraordinary”.

Director of emergency operations for Unicef in New York, Louis-George Arsenault, said that  the country had suffered the worst humanitarian crisis in decades, according to reports by the BBC.

Today Pakistani officials are meeting with members of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, to review the country’s budget and establish the best course of action.

So far 1,600 people have been killed and 16.8 million affected by the catastrophe. Speaking on RTÉ radio on Sunday, Pakistan’s ambassador to Ireland, Naghmana Hashmi, warned that the consequences of the disaster are extremely grave.

Hashmi said that millions of people are certain to die without help. She pointed out that children are likely to be the worst hit victims, as their young bodies are most vulnerable to injury, malnutrition, and disease.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that diseases are spreading in affected areas, with cholera causing a wave of deaths.

Cholera is water-borne disease that causes severe dehydration and death if treatment is not promptly given. It will be a major cause of death in Pakistan without fresh drinking water being delivered to survivors.

The UN has aid that it has so far raised almost 70% of the $460m (€363m) it has appealed for, and added that they received more in the second week after the disaster than the first, which is very unusual.

This video from Al Jazeera shows the devastation and chaos caused by the flooding:

# pakistan-floods - Friday 20 August, 2010

RAIN CONTINUES TO FALL across Pakistan, and fears are growing that without sufficient help from the international community the Taliban will take advantage of the worsening crisis.

North-western Pakistan is one the areas most severely hit by the flooding – it is also a stronghold for Taliban militants.

The UN has said that it estimates 1,600 people have died in the floods. Pakistan has confirmed 1,243 deaths.

The president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, has said that the militants like the Taliban will step in to exploit the chaos and suffering of Pakistanis who have been affected by the disaster.

The Pakistani authorities are already struggling to cope. The Pakistani military are trying to address the needs of the 20 million people affected by the flooding, while fighting groups like al-Qaeda and the Taliban who are mounting attacks in an attempt to take advantage of the situation.

American government spokesperson, Anthony Cordesman, said the floods are “a major opportunity” for Islamist groups wanting  garner favour with people who cannot access help.

The Pakistani Taliban have already called on the government to refuse foreign aid.

A spokesman for the Taliban, Azam Tariq, said:

We condemn American and other foreign aid and believe that it will lead to subjugation. Our jihad against America will continue.

During a press conference, president Zardari said:

All these catastrophes give strength to forces who do not want a state structure. There is a possibility that the negative forces would exploit the situation. Like they would take the babies who have been made orphans and take them to their camps and train them as the terrorists of tomorrow.

Some of the amounts pledged for Pakistan emergency aid:

Asian Development Bank €1.57bn

World Bank €700m

US €118m

UK €79m

Ireland €2m

# pakistan-floods - Thursday 19 August, 2010

FLOODWATERS WHICH CONTINUE to ravage Pakistan won’t recede until the end of this month, according to the country’s top meteorologist, Arif Mahmood.

Mahmood says that current flooding is heading for major cities in the south such as Hyderabad and Sukkur, but no heavy rain is forecast for this week.

Twenty million people have been affected by severe flooding which began three weeks ago. Just under 1 million homes have been damaged, leaving four million people homeless.

Pakistan’s national disaster management authority has set up special phone lines to help them identify the bodies of flood victims. Around 1,500 people have died.

Call for aid

Speaking on the radio this morning, Trócaire’s Paul Healy said the north of the country was a “desolate wasteland”, with no water, medicine or utilities to cook food.

The UN is holding an emergency session today, to push for international donors to supply funds for Pakistan. So far, only half of the $460 million the UN has appealed for has actually been pledged.

Minister Peter Power will address the General Assembly at the meeting, which begins at 8pm Irish time. The EU announced an extra €30m, bringing the total donated by the EU to €70m.

A spokesperson for the UN said that despite the initial sluggish response to the disaster, the pace of donations was picking up:

There has been an increase in the pace of pledges, but we still need more funds, tents, food, water and medical supplies.

Insurgency fears

As Pakistan’s military is consumed by flood-relief operations, fears that militants will take advantage of the crisis and return to areas where they were driven out are mounting.

The US held off on drone attacks planned for Taliban targets in northern Pakistan when the flooding began, but launched it first missile attack this month on 15 August, killing 13 insurgents.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to announced an aid increase today that will push US aid to Pakistan over $100 million.

# pakistan-floods - Sunday 15 August, 2010

UN SECRETARY-GENERAL Ban Ki-moon arrived in Pakistan today to visit regions devastated by severe flooding. Ki-moon has urged international governments to commit further funds to the aid effort.

Twenty million people have been made homeless and at least 1,600 killed by the flooding already described by the UN as being one of the world’s worst disasters. The UN has appealed for $460 million from international donors to help Pakistan in coping with the flooding.

Fears that diseases such as cholera and malaria could spread quickly among the survivors of the flood are growing after the first cholera case was confirmed yesterday. Containing a cholera outbreak is a priority of aid workers responding to the flood crisis.

Donor fatigue?

Aid agencies have echoed the UN chief’s call for emergency funding, saying that the response needs to be stepped up. Aid organisations say that conditions in Pakistan are deteriorating quickly and current resources are inadequate.

Ireland’s Oxfam director, Jim Clarken, said that the situation is worsening and the disaster requires a huge response:

The rains are continuing and each hour that passes the flooding is multiplying misery across the entire country. Swathes of Pakistan are still under-water and people have seen homes, shops, schools and crops flattened.

The world must not leave these people stranded. This is a mega disaster and it needs a mega response.

In comparison with the influx of aid in the wake of previous disaster, such as the Asian tsunami of 2004, the response to Pakistan’s crisis has been much slower, prompting concerns of ‘donor fatigue’ (people are tired of donating).

US drone attack

A US drone attack on militant targets in Pakistan’s volatile Waziristan region has killed 13 Taliban fighters, according to the Times of India. Six other militants were injured in the attack.

The US, which is pushing Pakistan in its battle against the Taliban, had suspended the missile attacks due to the country’s severe flooding and this was the first such attack this month.

# pakistan-floods - Friday 13 August, 2010

PAKISTAN’S WORST FLOODING for 80 years looks set to continue as the monsoon season rolls on. The flooding has killed more than 1,600 people so far and forced the evacuation of 2 million from their homes.

Rain continues to pound the country, and the water level of the already-swollen Indus river is expected to rise even higher today. An estimated 14.5 million people are affected by the disaster, which the UN has termed worse than the Asian tsunami of 2004.

Aid agencies are warning that water-borne diseases are now posing a serious threat to the population. The UN says it is providing preventative medication to try to halt the spread of illness among flood victims.

About $1 billion of Pakistan’s crops have been destroyed by the flooding, according to the World Bank. The bank’s president Robert Zoellick said today that the organisation may redirect $900 million in aid to the country.

Government dissatisfaction

Criticism of the government’s response continues to grow, and tension among survivors competing for food is growing, as this video shows:


President Zardari made his first visit to some of the affected areas yesterday, having been heavily criticised for going ahead with state visits to Paris and England during the growing crisis in Pakistan.

The Guardian reports that TV stations in Pakistan which attempted to report an incident during Zardari’s visit to Britain were censored. While the president visited Birmingham, a Pakistani man in the crowd threw a pair of shoes at him in protest at his handling of the flooding crisis.

The shoes missed their target, and the protester was arrested at the scene.

Taliban crisis

The US has been flying relief supplies into Pakistan in an effort to improve public approval for the troops. US military support for Pakistan’s fight against the Taliban in the north of the country has killed civilians in missile attacks intended for Taliban targets.

After the UN called for a surge in donations to assist Pakistan’s recovery, the Taliban called for a boycott of aid from “foreign infidels”. The floods may threaten Pakistan’s ability to cope with Taliban insurgents, as the country’s resources are directed into surviving the flooding and rebuilding the country.

Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN has said that David Cameron’s recent comments concerning Pakistan’s efforts against the Taliban may have hampered fund raising for the flood victims. Cameron suggested the government wasn’t doing enough to tackle the Taliban.

Abdullah Hussain Haroon warns that the Taliban could gain a stronger foothold in flood-stricken areas if they cannot be pushed out with the help of the international community.

# pakistan-floods - Wednesday 11 August, 2010

The Guardian is reporting that aid is failing to flow to Pakistan.

The US has announced more than $20m in aid for Pakistan, while Ireland has announced half a million in aid.

Fresh flood warnings have also been issued according to The Times of India.

There are warnings of pirate bandits.

The BBC has a diary of the floods in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.

# pakistan-floods - Tuesday 10 August, 2010

THE ESCALATING FLOODS in Pakistan could eclipse the world’s last three biggest disasters combined, according to the UN. Over 13 million people are now believed to be affected by the flooding, and adverse weather is continuing to hamper aid efforts.

The number of homes destroyed by the floods is estimated to be reaching the same level as January’s earthquake in Haiti. A new warning has been issued to residents in Muzaffargarh, central Pakistan, over fears that swollen rivers could soon submerge the area.

Thousands of people continue to flee the flood-stricken regions. Thirty people are missing after a crowded boat evacuating residents from the Punjab town of Jampur capsized on Sunday.

Facing the crisis: images from Pakistan

Push for aid

The UN is expected to launch a major appeal for international aid shortly. Over $38 million has been donated to date and another $90 million has been promised, but more money will be needed to help the country recover and provide food aid to replace the thousands of acres of crops that have been destroyed.

Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) has released a list of articles required from donors which includes boats, tents, generators, and medicines.

Ireland has already pledged €750,000 to help alleviate the crisis. The funding will be divided up between Concern, Trócaire, and the UN. The Irish Rapid Response Corps has been on standby since last week to help in providing expert emergency assistance if requested by Pakistan.

Below is the latest OCHA map depicting the spread of the flooding across the country:

# pakistan-floods - Monday 9 August, 2010

NATURAL DISASTERS across Europe and Asia have killed thousands of people, and have forced thousands more to flee their homes

Floods are continuing to plague Pakistan and China, and fires across Russia are causing serious damage and have covered Moscow in a thick smog.

Central Europe saw heavy rainfall over the weekend, which resulted in severe flooding in parts of Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic.

# pakistan-floods - Saturday 7 August, 2010

PAKISTAN’S PRESIDENT has met with Britain’s David Cameron as the country issues a ‘red alert’ over further expected flooding. President Zadari defended his decision to travel to Europe after the flood crisis began, saying that his prime minister was keeping him informed of events back home.

Zadari said he had convinced Cameron that Pakistan is doing everything it can to prevent militant group from “exporting terror”. Western ambassadors based in the capital have warned that the floods could impair Pakistan’s fight against the Taliban.

Twelve million people have been affected by the floods, and the death toll has reached over 1,600. Over 500,000 people have been evacuated from the Indus river region as more areas succumb to the rising waters.

This Euronews footage shows the emergency relief operations underway – as more rain falls:

Pakistan’s prime minister has appealed for international aid to help “alleviate the sufferings of flood-affected people.” Irish charity Concern has released half a million in emergency funding for Pakistan, and launched an appeal to raise more money.

The UN Office for the Co-Ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that extensive flood damage to crops may see Pakistan relying on food aid throughout winter. The country is only half-way through its annual monsoon season, and further rain is forecast for the coming days.