A flooded area is seen in Jamshoro district, Sindh province, Pakistan, September 18, 2022. (Str/Xinhua)
Describing China as a very important partner for WFP globally and in Pakistan, a WFP official appreciated China’s experience and technical know-how in dealing with floods, saying: “China has so much to offer, not just in terms of monetary value, but also in terms of knowledge. The world can learn a lot from China.”
ISLAMABAD, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) — The international community must come together to stand with the people of Pakistan, show solidarity and help them rebuild their lives devastated by this year’s monsoon floods and rains, deputy country director of the World Food Program (WFP) in Pakistan, Rathi Palakrishnan told Xinhua.
Describing the ongoing flooding in Pakistan as a “climate emergency” that can occur anywhere in the world, Palakrishnan called on the international community to mobilize funding “to help people rehabilitate their lives, restore their livelihoods and get back to the… to get legs”.
The WFP official highlighted the repeated shocks of extreme climate change in Pakistan in the form of snow, drought and now floods.
People row boats on flood waters in Jamshoro district, Sindh province, Pakistan, Sept. 15, 2022. (STR/Xinhua)
According to the latest figures from Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), as of mid-June, over 33 million people have been affected and 1,545 died along with 12,860 injured in this season’s monsoon rains and floods.
In addition, over 1.9 million homes have been destroyed, while an estimated 959,819 livestock have died, the NDMA said.
“The people affected have lost their livelihoods, their crops have been destroyed and a third of the country is under water, with roads, bridges and infrastructure destroyed,” the WFP official said, adding that the country is already facing a significant number of people with food insecurity, but the floods had hit them doubly.
Detailing WFP’s initiatives in Pakistan, the official said they aim to reach 1.9 million people with food, nutrition and livelihood assistance over the next few months and have already reached half a million people .
The official said WFP’s general food distributions consist of a monthly ration of wheat, oil, salt and lentils for each family.
“We also have nutritional support for pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under the age of two for the next two to three months to prevent malnutrition and boost their immunity,” said the official, who is confident his products are effective in preventing deterioration in nutritional status .
A flooded area is seen in Jamshoro district, Sindh province, Pakistan, September 15, 2022. (Str/Xinhua)
Local media quoted Pakistani officials as saying that at least 650,000 pregnant women were among those affected across the country.
Regarding the recovery phase, the official described that once the water recedes, they would work with the government to help people return to their areas.
“We will help them buy the seeds they need and get the farm supplies for the planting season coming up in October.”
The official pointed out that if the floodwaters don’t recede, the small planting window will be missed and when this happens, people’s ability to eat adequately and nutritiously will be further limited.
The WFP representative said that where water is receding and communities want to recede, they would start restoring money and infrastructure to restore livelihoods in those areas through community rehabilitation programs.
The Chinese government has provided timely humanitarian aid, including waterproof tents, to counteract the effects of the floods and rains in Pakistan.
Tents of flood-affected people are seen in Jamshoro district, Sindh province, Pakistan, September 15, 2022. (Str/Xinhua)
Appreciating China’s experience and technical expertise in dealing with floods, the official said, “China has so much to offer, not only in terms of monetary value but also in terms of knowledge. The world can learn a lot from China.”
Palakrishnan described China as a very important partner for WFP globally and in Pakistan.
“It is important that the world learns about the recurring climate crisis in Pakistan. It’s a big wake up call. It could happen anywhere and the world needs to come together to support Pakistan and tackle the global issue of climate change,” added the WFP official.■