Millions affected by the floods in Pakistan - 1300 dead
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The storms and monsoon rains in Pakistan have already affected over 33 million people. Over 1,300 people have died, including 466 children, and 100 000 have been recently evacuated, according to the UNHCR.
The floods in Pakistan have led to the country's largest natural freshwater lake Manchar being close to overflowing. Over 100,000 people near the lake have been evacuated, according to international media reports on September 6.
The UN has previously warned that the situation in Pakistan could get worse and that more rain is expected in the next month.
According to Indrika Ratwatte, UNHCR Asia director, more rain will worsen the living conditions for over half a million people and force even more residents to leave their homes.
The Pakistan Minister of Information, Maryam Aurangzeb, claims that one third of the country is currently under water, according to media reports on September 9.
The UN Secretary General António Guterres is currently in Pakistan, visiting the affected areas. He describes the situation as a "monsoon rain on steroids", and makes a plea to the world to send more help.
The home page for the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.org, writes in an article from September 2 that "the Government of Pakistan has initiated a response and appealed for international support as the floods continue to devastate many parts of the country. According to government figures, over 287,000 houses have been destroyed, and a further 662,000 homes damaged, while 735,000 livestock have perished and 2 million acres of crops are inundated. There has also been significant damage to communications infrastructure".
UNHCR has allegedly already provided 10,000 tents and thousands of other relief items such as plastic tarps, sanitary products, cooking stoves, blankets, solar lamps, and sleeping mats. Thousands of sacks have also been distributed to help households build sandbag defences around their homes. The assistance is being given to host communities as well as refugee villages.
Pakistan is home to 1,3 million Afghan refugees, many of which live in the affected areas.
Pakistan has seen catastrophic floods before: In 2010 the monsoon season left almost 2,000 people dead.
Photo Credit (Cover photo above): Swat, Pakistan, August 5, 2010. Photo by Qasim Berech/Oxfam. Photo originally published on Flickr. Creative Commons Licence.