By Jasmine Andersson
An urgent appeal is being launched by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to help millions of people affected by devastating floods in Pakistan.
Fifteen UK charities, including the British Red Cross and Oxfam, are asking the public for donations to protect lives as waters carry on rising.
At least 1,136 people have been killed in Pakistan since June by what the UN is calling a “monsoon on steroids”.
People are surviving without clean water, food and shelter, the DEC says.
The UK government has pledged £10m in funding for international aid agencies to help provide water, sanitation and shelter, and to protect women and girls. The money will also help families repair their homes and maintain their livelihoods.
The government has said it will also match pound-for-pound the first £5m raised by the DEC appeal.
UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who is competing alongside Rishi Sunak to become the next prime minister, said the UK stood with Pakistan and would do all it could to get life-saving aid to the most vulnerable.
Since the start of the rainy season in June, Pakistan has been hit with extreme monsoon rainfall – more than twice the monthly average.
Now, more than a third of the country is completely submerged by the heaviest recorded rainfall in a decade, Pakistan’s climate change minister has said.
The floods have also submerged vital infrastructure and farmland, killing livestock and destroying two million acres of crops, threatening future harvests.
About 33 million people have been affected, with one million homes destroyed, the UN has estimated.
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Experts said the situation was likely to get worse as heavy rains continue over areas already inundated.
The DEC is urging everyone to donate whatever they can spare to help relief efforts.
Its chief executive Saleh Saeed said: “The scale of these floods has caused a shocking level of destruction – crops have been swept away and livestock killed across huge swathes of the country, which means hunger will follow.”
He acknowledged the appeal came at a difficult time for many Britons as they struggle with the cost-of-living crisis but urged everyone to give whatever they could.
The chief executive of the human rights body, Antonio Guterres, said the country was facing “a monsoon on steroids”, and asked for funding to help those suffering in the “climate crisis hotspot”.
In a video message, Mr Guterres said: “Let’s stop sleepwalking towards the destruction of our planet by climate change. Today, it’s Pakistan. Tomorrow, it could be your country.”
What is the DEC?
- The committee brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to provide and deliver aid to ensure successful appeals
- The charities include Oxfam, Save the Children UK, Age International, British Red Cross, Cafod, Christian Aid and Islamic Relief
- Its website provides more details of its current appeals