Islamabad: The death toll in Pakistan’s catastrophic flooding has increased to 1,162 as the cash-strapped country struggles to rescue and care for millions of people displaced by the surging waters.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said the victims included 384 children and 231 women, and the death toll is expected to further increase in the coming days, dpa news agency reported on Wednesday.
More than 33 million people in some 116 of Pakistan’s 160 administrative districts have been affected by the floods triggered by incessant monsoon rain since mid-Jine, with at least 72 districts being declared disaster areas.
Hundreds and thousands of people are currently living without food, clean water, shelter and basic basic medicines.
The floods inundated over 2 million acres of agricultural land, destroying crops of cotton, rice, dates, tomato, chilli and other vegetables.
On Tuesday, the UN issued a flash appeal for $160 million in emergency aid to help Pakistan.
“Pakistan is awash in suffering,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who is due to visit the country next week, said in a video message at the launch of the appeal.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif urged the developed world not to leave countries like Pakistan, which is responsible for less than 1 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions, at the mercy of climate change.
“If it is us today, it can be somebody else tomorrow. Threat of climate change is real, potent & staring us in the face,” Sharif tweeted.
According to Pakistan’s planning minister, the flooding has already inflicted around $10 billion in losses to the economy, which has long been struggling due to high current account and fiscal deficits and chronic energy shortages.