Pakistani political group urges US to boost aid to Pakistan amid deadly flooding

A prominent political group of Pakistani-American activists has called on the US Congress and Biden administration to pass a $13 billion aid package to provide desperately needed humanitarian assistance to Pakistan, which is battling the worst-ever floods.

Through its National Disaster Management Authority, the Pakistani Government – which has declared a national emergency – is leading the response in coordinating assessments and directing humanitarian relief to affected people.

More than 1,000 people have been killed and at least 33 million displaced from what the United Nations has characterized as a “monsoon on steroids.” Approximately one-third of Pakistan is under water, as heavy rainfall since June has deluged the country.

The Atlantic Council, a Washington-based American think-tank, estimates flooding so far has caused $5.2bn in damages to Pakistan and will require $7.9bn in reconstruction costs. As flood waters move south, the situation is expected to deteriorate even further.

The Atlantic Council valued Pakistan’s final damages from flooding in 2022 at around $17 billion, bringing the two-year total to a minimum of $30 billion. As climate change progresses, flooding crises in Pakistan are expected to grow.

The country contributes less than 1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions yet continues to bear the brunt of climate related disasters year after year, it was pointed out.

“Pakistan faces one of its darkest hours today with a third of the country underwater. What is most tragic is that this year’s floods , just like last year’s, are a harbinger of worse climate related disasters to come,” Dr. Ijaz Ahmad, Chairman of the American Pakistani Public Affairs Committee (APPAC) said in a statement.

“The American-Pakistani community urges the United States to come to the aid of the people of Pakistan as a signal of its continued leadership in providing humanitarian assistance in times of need.”

In a letter to President Biden and select members of Congress, APPAC urged significant and immediate relief for the people of Pakistan. APPAC also urged the U.S. to work with Pakistan to prepare the nation for more devastation, which is now a continuous threat due to climate change.

So far, the U.S. has pledged just $30 million in aid after the flooding but the scale of devastation far outweighs the funding offered, APPAC said.