ISLAMABAD ( Associated Press) – Supply-laden planes for flood-ravaged Pakistan were arriving via a humanitarian airlift as the official death toll crossed 1,200 people, officials said on Friday, and families and children are at risk. Particular risk of illness and homelessness.
The ninth flight from the United Arab Emirates and the first from Uzbekistan were the last to land in Islamabad overnight, as military-backed rescue operations reached more than three million people affected by historic floods in the rest of the world. Many officials attributed the abnormal monsoon rains and floods to climate change. One of them was UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who earlier this week called on the world to stop ignoring the deadly crisis.
The foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday that the planes were carrying food, medicine and tents. Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday canceled his visit to the emirate and will instead visit the disaster-hit areas.
So far, Pakistan has received help from China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Uzbekistan and the Emirates, among other countries. The United States announced this week that it would send $30 million in aid.
Pakistan blames climate change for the recent heavy monsoon rains, which led to the floods.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Asim Iftikhar told him a day earlier that the crisis gave credence to the warnings of scientists: “This is not a conspiracy, it is a reality and we must be aware.”
According to the government’s first estimates, the devastation caused $10,000 million in damage.
According to scientists and experts, since 1959, Pakistan has emitted about 0.4% of carbon dioxide compared to 21.5% in the United States and 16.4% in China. Pakistani officials and experts say there has been a 400% increase in average rainfall in areas such as Balochistan and Sindh, leading to extreme flooding.
Earlier this week, the United Nations and Pakistan launched a joint appeal to raise $160 million in emergency funds to help the 3.3 million people affected by floods that have damaged more than one million homes.
Meanwhile, officials on Friday warned residents of Dadu district in Sindh’s southern province to move to safer areas ahead of the rising Indus river, which is expected to enter the region this week.
According to the army, the rescuers with the help of the army resumed their operation early Friday. Teams mainly use boats, although they also have helicopters to reach places where problems with roads and bridges prevent evictions and food distribution.