Pakistan’s Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman said that the country’s devastating floods are one of the biggest climate tragedies of the century that the world has ever witnessed.
The floods, triggered by torrential monsoon rain since mid-June, have killed more than 1,700 people and affected over 33 million people, reports Xinhua news agency.
“The rescue mission has now stopped, but we are still in the longest relief operation any country has ever seen,” the Minister said, adding that an estimated 20.6 million people are still in need of help.
She said that the floods have caused damages of more than $40 billion as estimated by the World Bank, fearing that the actual losses and damages are much higher than estimated and will increase with time.
The situation is grim in the worst-hit Sindh and Balochistan provinces as stagnant floodwater inundated 11 districts, making humanitarian relief an enormous challenge, Rehman said.
Over 9 million acres of standing crops are damaged and inundated, and this will directly put 14.6 million people in the line of a food and agriculture crisis, the Minister said.
She added that Pakistan’s export crops are almost all wiped out, and the country will even need to import food after the flood.
Rehman said that an additional 15.4 million more people in Pakistan are expected to be pushed below the poverty line due to the recent climate-induced floods.