Millions of Pakistanis Are Facing a “Climate Dystopia” Amid Historic Floods

After weeks of relentless rains, a new cycle of flash floods devastated parts of Pakistan over the weekend, raising the country’s monsoon death toll to 1,136 since June, according to the country’s National Disaster Management Authority. Nearly 1,000,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged. over 33 million Pakistanis affected– displaced families sleeping on roads in lean tos and tents and in makeshift shelters in schools or mosques.

“This is very far from a normal monsoon — it is climate dystopia at our doorstep,” Sherry Rehman, a Pakistan senator and the country’s climate change minister, told AFPMonday

The monsoon season started earlier than usual this year, in mid June, and the country has seen its highest rainfall since the 1960s. According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, Sindh received 784 percent more rain this month than the August average. Southwestern Baluchistan received 500% more. as reported in the New Delhi Times. The department warns rains could continue through next month.

Monday’s arrival in Islamabad of aid from Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and other countries was for areas that had been affected by what Rehman called “Rehman.” “the monster monsoon of the decade.”However, it will be difficult to distribute supplies: There are thousands of miles and more than 150 bridges that have been destroyed across the country. Civilian rescuers are still trying to rescue thousands of people trapped in inaccessible areas.

All four provinces in Pakistan have been affected by the floods. Large swathes in the Sindh and southern Balochistan provinces are currently submerged. 75 percent of Balochistan, the country’s least developed province which accounts for half the land area of Pakistan, has been affected.

In the mountains of the north, where the Himalayas and the Karakoram ranges meet, glacial lake floods have rushed through valleys, sweeping away houses and bridges. Pakistan is Pakistan’s home. over 7,000 glaciersThe highest concentration outside of the polar regions is 57. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s northwestern province, weekend food from Swat River caused tens of thousands to be displaced and are now waiting for help at relief camps within government buildings.

Rehman said that by the time the rain stops, a third Pakistan could be submerged. The government has declared a state of emergency and asked for international assistance. The United Nations will launch an international appeal to raise $160 million for donations on Tuesday.

The country is currently in financial crisis, facing high inflation, currency devaluation and a huge account deficit. Monday’s approval of $1.17million in bailout funds by the International Monetary Fund or IMF board was necessary to prevent default. Although the IMF and Pakistan had signed a bailout agreement in 2019, the payments from the IMF were not yet received. delayed over concerns about Pakistan’s compliance with the deal terms under the government of former Prime Minister Imran Khan. To access the funding, the new government took severe economic austerity measures.

Khan was removed in April following a constitutional vote. holding ralliesTo demand new elections. NPR reported that in remote areas of Pakistan, there’s a sense that the political crisis in Islamabad has drawn attention away from the devastating impacts of the rains until now. Miftah Ismail (Finance Minister) suggested that Monday’s meeting be held. Pakistan could reopen some trade with IndiaImporting vegetables is impossible; trade has been blocked ever since 2019, when New Delhi integrated part of the disputed Kashmir region. The U.N. stated last week that it had provided $3 million for flood relief in Pakistan. It emphasized the most vulnerable.

Pakistan emits less than 1 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases but consistently ranks among the top 10 most vulnerable countries in Germanwatch’s Global Climate Risk Index. In comments on SundayMinister of Foreign Affairs Bilawal Bhutto Zardari highlighted how Pakistan is the most affected by climate change, while high-emitting nations fail to reduce their emissions sufficiently. “Pakistan contributes negligible amounts to the overall carbon footprint,” he said, “but we are devastated by climate disasters such as these time and time again, and we have to adapt within our limited resources.”