Angelina Jolie to visit flood-ravaged Pakistan as government warns of humanitarian disaster



Islamabad, Pakistan
CNN

Angelina Jolie will visit flood-ravaged Pakistan, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) said in a statement on Monday, a visit aimed at drawing international attention to the country’s unfolding humanitarian crisis.

Flooding from record monsoon rains and melting glaciers in the mountains of northern Pakistan inundated a third of the country, killing more than 1,500 people and affecting an estimated 33 million more, washing away homes, roads, railways , livestock and crops.

Authorities have warned floods could take up to six months to recede in the worst-hit areas of the country, amid growing concerns about the threat of water-borne diseases such as cholera and dengue.

According to UNICEF, the floods have left 3.4 million children in need of “immediate, life-saving support”, leaving them vulnerable to water-borne diseases, including dengue fever and malaria.

The statement said Jolie was “visiting to witness and understand the situation, and to hear from those directly affected about their needs and measures to prevent such suffering in the future.”

It added that she would visit the IRC’s response operations and local organizations helping the displaced.

It is unclear if Jolie has arrived in Pakistan or how long the trip is expected to last.

Pakistan’s climate change minister Shirley Lehman described the situation as “the worst humanitarian catastrophe of the decade” and called for urgent international assistance to provide “food, tents and medicine”.

“Karachi is experiencing a dengue outbreak as thousands of patients are reported every day in government and private hospitals. Dengue cases this year are up 50% compared to last year. There are 584,246 people in refugee camps across the country and the health crisis could be unchecked if left unchecked. wreak havoc,” Lehman said last week.

The country also faces the prospect of severe food shortages as up to 70 percent of staple crops such as rice and corn have been destroyed. The total economic damage is now expected to exceed $30 billion, triple the government’s previous estimate.

Both the Pakistani government and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have blamed global climate change for worsening extreme weather, leading to a “monsoon on steroids”.

The IRC said in a statement that Jolie “will see first-hand how a country like Pakistan pays the most for a crisis that they did not start.”

“The IRC hopes her visit will shed light on the issue and prompt action from the international community – especially the countries that contribute the most to carbon emissions – to provide urgent support to countries bearing the brunt of the climate crisis,” it added.

IRC said Jolie had previously visited the country after natural disasters in 2005 and 2010.



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