Updated: Sep 22
By Elnura Omurkulova-Ozierska, GDC Project Assistant
In the past weeks, the world has been shocked by the devastating news of climate change consequences happening in Pakistan. Although Pakistan contributes less than 1% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, it continues to be among the top 10 climate vulnerable countries.
According to the Government of Pakistan and international humanitarian agencies 1,500 people have died and approximately one-third of them were children. A third of the country is under water and 33 million people (15% of the population) have been affected. Out of these 33 million people affected, 7.6 million severely, by torrential rains and floods, raising the number of officially 'disaster-hit' districts to 81.
Some 575,000 people are reportedly living in relief camps across the country and in host communities. The access to the population most affected by humanitarian crisis has been compounded by 12,700 km of roads and 375 bridges either damaged or destroyed. Due to broken health facilities and limited access to sufficient quality drinking water, the affected people have been reported to suffer various illnesses.
The Pakistani diaspora is the seventh largest immigrant population in the world with more than nine million individuals living in the diaspora. According to the research done by DEMAC, the Pakistani Diaspora are alerted about crises through friends and extended families, as well as through the formal requests the Pakistani government extends to the international community – including the diaspora – in times of emergencies.
The Pakistani government has appealed for help from the international community and the Pakistani Diaspora, to support the current emergencies in the country. The briefings of Pakistani Ambassadors were organized in various countries for charities and diaspora organizations for mobilizing resources and humanitarian assistance.
At the same time Pakistani diaspora started donations campaigns across the world to receive funds for relief efforts in Pakistan. In Great Britain, the British Muslims (43% of whom are of Pakistani origin) are reported to be among the most charitable in the country, after the devastating floods started. The Pakistani diaspora and British charities have raised at least £1million.
Time to act is now
The Global Diaspora Confederation (GDC) is calling on all stakeholders to support the people of Pakistan in these difficult times. Shelter, food, health, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) have been identified as priority needs. Moreover, the national meteorological agency is predicting more rains from 10 September, 2022 over major river and further risks will be posed to people in Pakistan.
In order to help people in Pakistan you can donate through well-known and trusted humanitarian agencies:
Save the Children: https://www.savethechildren.org/us/where-we-work/pakistan
The opinions expressed in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Global Diaspora Confederation (GDC).