The United Nations on Thursday urged all countries to bury their political and ideological differences and help Pakistan cope with the floods that has inundated much of the country and remains an “unfolding emergency” since waters first began rising in Balochistan on July 22.
With more rains forecasted as the monsoons are still short of its halfway mark, and all the eastern rivers and their dams here and in India almost to their full capacity, Jhelum, Sutlej, Chenab and Ravi rivers are also expected to swell in the coming weeks. And, the Indus is already in full rage.
“This is not a one-time event like an earthquake or a tsunami; it is an unfolding emergency,” said U. N. officials while briefing the media. Referring to the U.N. appeal for $459 million, the U. N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Pakistan Martin Mogwanja said this was the initial amount needed for the most urgent requirements of the most seriously affected people. Since money is only trickling in, the U.N. has dipped into the aid that had come in for relief and rehabilitation of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of the military operations against terrorists to help the flood affected. The international community, according to U.N. officials, should keep this mind as Khyber-Pukhtoonkhwa is the worst affected area as of now and many of the flood victims are also IDPs.
Urging the donor community to contribute generously, U.N. officials also pointed out that Pakistan presently is host to the world's largest refugee community as there are 1.7 million Afghan refugees living here; most of whom live either in Khyber-Pukhtoonkhwa or Balochistan. They have been rendered homeless yet again.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Office has stepped up efforts to tap the international community for aid. After briefing heads of diplomatic missions based in Islamabad on the floods last week, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi took some of them to flood affected areas in South Punjab on Thursday.
The Indian High Commissioner was not invited to both these interfaces.