Toronto, 4 October 2022– The UN’s decision to increase the appeal for aid in response to the Pakistan floods from US $160 million to $816 million will mean humanitarian organizations and the Pakistan Government can better help families in need as the country faces a major public health emergency, said Save the Children.
In response to yesterday’s announcement of the more than five-fold increase in the funding appeal, the child rights agency said the new target better reflects the scale of the devastation caused by the floods, which submerged a third of the country and affected 33 million people, including 16 million children.
Save the Children is urging donor governments to fully fund the revised appeal as soon as possible, adding that it was a “race against time” to save the lives of children at risk from life-threatening diseases like cholera, dengue and diarrhea.
“We are grateful for the overwhelming support of Canadians who have responded to our response to this crisis. The matching fund from the Canadian government was a great initiative that is helping us to respond to the needs in Pakistan,” said Patrick Robitaille, Save the Children Canada’s Head of Humanitarian Affairs. “We, collectively, have a responsibility for the consequences of the climate change. The ripple effect of this flood is just starting to be felt with the growing health, nutrition and protection concerns, particularly to for children.”
“We can’t separate the climate crisis from this emergency—it’s a key driver of this flooding that is putting children’s lives at risk. We encourage Canadians to continue to support our work so that we can reach children caught in this crisis and prevent further deterioration of the situation,” added Robitaille.
New research published by Save the Children last week found that 70% of families were sleeping outside in the open without proper shelter, while one in five families without access to clean water were drinking from contaminated canals or rivers.
Save the Children’s Country Director in Pakistan, Khuram Gondal, said:
“The revised appeal speaks volumes about the scale of the devastation we’re seeing in Pakistan. The flood waters may be starting to recede, but the level of human suffering and devastation they’ve left behind is nothing short of horrifying. Millions of people are sleeping outside in the open. Hunger and disease are rife, and the hospitals that haven’t been destroyed are over-crowded and overwhelmed.
“But the increased appeal will only be effective if the funds come through. We’re in a race against time to halt a secondary crisis of hunger and disease which, as well as causing widespread suffering, will cause the cost of the relief effort to soar even further. We therefore urge donor governments to fund the revised appeal as a matter of urgency, and make sure that the funds are quickly dispersed to aid organizations so they can get help to those who need it.
“The fallout from this crisis will be felt long into the future. Donors must also think beyond the emergency relief effort to recovery and rehabilitation, which will require significant, long-term investment.
“This is also the perfect opportunity for leaders to reflect on how countries like Pakistan – responsible for only 1% of global carbon emissions – bear the brunt of the climate crisis. With just a month to go until COP27, we urge leaders to commit to creating a new climate finance mechanism to address this kind of loss and damage, to help countries like Pakistan and the entire generation of children affected by such a disaster.”
Save the Children is providing emergency relief to families that have lost everything, including food, emergency shelter and medical assistance. The agency is running two medical camps in SWAT and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa where it is providing life-saving medical care to children suffering from flood-related illnesses. As of 30 September 2022, Save the Children has reached almost 32,000 people, including 15,300 children.
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