Angelina Jolie visits flood-ravaged Pakistan as government warns of humanitarian disaster

Floods caused by record monsoon rains and melting glaciers in Pakistan’s northern mountainous regions have submerged a third of the country’s land, killing more than 1,500 people and affecting an additional 33 million, wiping out homes, roads, railways. livestock and crops.

Authorities have warned that it could take up to six months for floodwaters to recede in the most affected areas of the country, as fears increase over the threat posed by waterborne diseases, including cholera and dengue.

The flood left 3.4 million children in need of “immediate and life-saving support,” according to UNICEF, making them vulnerable to waterborne diseases, including dengue fever and malaria.

Jolie “is on a visit to witness and understand the situation and to hear those directly concerned about their needs and steps to prevent such suffering in the future,” the statement read.

He will visit the IRC response operations and local organizations that are assisting the displaced, he added.

It is unclear whether the Jolie has arrived in Pakistan or how long the journey will take.

Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s minister for climate change, described the situation as “the worst humanitarian disaster of this decade” and called for urgent international help to provide “food, tents and medicines”.

3.4 million children in Pakistan need 'immediate and lifesaving support' after floods: UNICEF

“Karachi is witnessing a dengue outbreak as hundreds and thousands of patients refer every day in government and private hospitals. Dengue cases this year are 50% higher than last year. With 584,246 people in camps across the country. country, the health crisis could wreak havoc if it goes unchecked, ā€¯Rehman said last week.

The country also faces the prospect of severe food shortages, due to the destruction of up to 70% of staple crops such as rice and maize. Total economic damage is now expected to amount to more than $ 30 billion, three times the government’s previous estimate.

Both the Pakistani government and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres have blamed global climate change for worsening extreme weather that has caused “steroid monsoon”.

Jolie “will see firsthand how countries like Pakistan are paying the highest price for a crisis they did not cause,” the IRC said in its statement.

“The IRC hopes your visit will shed light on this issue and push the international community – particularly the states that contribute the most to carbon emissions – to act and provide urgent support to countries that are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis.” , he added.

Jolie had already visited the country in 2005 and 2010 following natural disasters, the IRC said.