Days after the UK announced an additional £15 million to help affected communities, British High Commissioner Christian Turner visited flood hit villages in Nowshera on Saturday where a UK charity Islamic Relief is providing lifesaving aid to those affected. This money will be spent for urgent life-saving support and go towards water and sanitation, shelter and home repairs, and primary healthcare, especially for women and girls.
Accompanied by Islamic Relief World wide’s CEO Waseem Ahmad and Islamic Relief Pakistan’s Country Director Asif Sherazi, the High Commissioner witnessed first-hand the devastating impact of the climate catastrophe. Expressing solidarity with the people at the camp, the British High Commissioner reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to Pakistan and observed the challenges faced by the community along with efforts to support those affected. Islamic Relief is a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) that launched the Pakistan Floods Appeal to collect funds for relief efforts; the UK government has announced it will match pound for pound the first £5 million of public donations, as part of the total £15 million pledge.
The High Commissioner also visited village Kakol Abad and met with affected communities. He expressed his sorrow at the losses incurred during the flooding and assured them of UK’s continued support British High Commissioner Christian Turner said: “The people I have met today are strong and will rebuild. But they need urgent support with water, sanitation and shelter.
The UK is helping provide that. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.” Islamic Relief Country Director Asif Sherazi said: “The situation is worsening with every passing day and in terms of damages, it is surpassing the floods of 2010. We are on ground since 3rd August meeting the needs of the affected across the country with shelters, clean drinking water, cash grants, food and hygiene items. Till now we have reached 30,000 people with lifesaving aid that will be doubled in the next week. The aim is to support half a million under our emergency response. Since the needs are huge and dire, we really appreciate the UK’s increased support for the humanitarian response and the DEC appeal, and we urge the UK government and other countries for increased funding for the recovery phase too.
According to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Agency, the flooding has damaged 950,000 houses and destroyed 287,000, with 500,000 people now living in relief camps. The disaster has also destroyed 3,000km of roads and damaged 7,566 schools. In total 745 health centres have been damaged or destroyed. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), over 800,000 livestock have been lost. The UK pledged over £55 million to partner with Pakistan to fight climate change, manage water more sustainably and unlock climate investment in November 2021 during the COP26 Conference in Glasgow.