UN: 8M May Still Be Exposed to Pakistan Floodwaters

After melting glaciers and monsoon rains submerged one-third of Pakistan over the summer — killing 1.7K and affecting 33M — the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Tuesday that 240K remain displaced and roughly 8M are "still potentially exposed to floodwaters

UN: 8M May Still Be Exposed to Pakistan Floodwaters

Facts

  • After melting glaciers and monsoon rains submerged one-third of Pakistan over the summer — killing 1.7K and affecting 33M — the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Tuesday that 240K remain displaced and roughly 8M are "still potentially exposed to floodwaters or living close to flooded areas."
  • The report cites satellite images showing floodwaters still present in 11 districts of Sindh and two districts of Balochistan, with poor sanitation and contaminated water particularly impacting children's health. Diarrhea and other waterborne diseases are still widespread.
  • The report did indicate that things are slowly returning to normal, with the WHO saying malaria cases have fallen by 25% in Balochistan, 58% in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and 67% in Sindh since early September.
  • Pakistan, along with Afghanistan, is one of the last two nations not to eradicate polio. OCHA reported that 600K Pakistani children are still yet to receive the vaccine due to a lack of access to flood-impacted areas.
  • The relief effort has reportedly fallen short of requirements, with over 5.1M people still experiencing dire conditions in flood-afflicted areas. Nearly 90% of displaced people are living with host communities, and the remaining 10% are housed in tent cities and relief camps.
  • Overcrowded shelters, inadequate health infrastructure, and poor sanitation have increased the prevalence of a number of infectious diseases.

Sources: Al Jazeera, Dawn, First Post, and Pak Tribune.

Narratives

  • Narrative A, as provided by Geo. Pakistan's lackluster approach to flood prevention and resilience measures is primarily to blame. After experiencing massive floods in 2010 and again this year, Pakistan must start operationalizing flood prevention measures codified by international standards. These include building gender-appropriate shelters and strengthening education, sanitation, and infrastructure systems.
  • Narrative B, as provided by CNN. Having only contributed less than 1% of the world's carbon emissions, Pakistan should not have to foot the entire bill after enduring these climate change-induced floods. It's been 20 years since the West pledged to contribute $100B to developing countries, and it's about time the richest nations in the world follow through on that promise. It's not fair to expect Islamabad to respond effectively to climate-catalyzed catastrophes spurred by Western consumption.

Predictions