International humanist Angelina Jolie is visiting Pakistan to support communities affected by the devastating floods, according to a statement released on Wednesday.
Heavy rains and flooding across the country have affected 33 million people and submerged a third of the country.
Ms. Jolie is visiting to witness and understand the situation and to hear directly from the people affected about their needs and steps to prevent such suffering in the future.
Ms Jolie, who previously visited victims of the 2010 Pakistan floods and 2005 earthquake, will visit the IRC’s emergency response and local organizations helping displaced people, including Afghan refugees.
Pakistan, which produces just 1% of global CO2 emissions, is also the world’s second largest refugee swarm, with a population that has been hosting Afghan refugees for over forty years.
Ms Jolie will highlight the need for urgent support for the Pakistani people and long-term solutions to address the multiplying crises of climate change, displaced people and ongoing insecurity we are witnessing around the world.
Ms Jolie will see firsthand how countries like Pakistan are paying the greatest cost of a crisis they did not create. The IRC hopes that their visit will shed light on this issue and prompt the international community – particularly the countries that contribute the most to carbon emissions – to act and provide urgent support to the countries bearing the brunt of the climate crisis .
Shabnam Baloch, Pakistan Country Director at IRC, said: “The climate crisis is destroying lives and futures in Pakistan, with severe consequences, especially for women and children.
“The resulting economic losses from these floods are likely to lead to food insecurity and an increase in violence against women and girls. We need immediate support to reach people in dire need and long-term investment to prevent climate change from destroying our collective future. With more rains expected in the coming months, we hope Angelina Jolie’s visit will help the world wake up and take action.”
The latest from IRC needs assessment shows that people urgently need food, drinking water, shelter and medical care. All respondents state that women and girls do not have access to menstrual hygiene products. To date, the IRC has reached more than 50,000 women and girls with humanitarian assistance, including dignity and hygiene kits, to address sanitation and menstrual needs.
Since the beginning of July, we have been providing life-saving services to flood-affected communities in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh and have reached nearly 950,000 people with emergency supplies, food, medical supplies and safe spaces.