Oxfam today warned of a public health catastrophe in flood-hit Pakistan. While funding had stalled in recent weeks, the number of cases of reported disease, numbers of people displaced, and numbers of people affected by the floods continue to rise each day.
The IMF will issue a $450 million loan to Pakistan which risks plunging Pakistan into debt that it can ill-afford. Oxfam is calling for the cancellation of all multilateral and bilateral loans to Pakistan, and for debt relief to be given on emergency assistance from the IMF.
World champion boxer Amir Khan is in Pakistan where he met families made homeless by the devastating floods and took part in an Oxfam distribution of aid.
One month after the floods first reached disastrous levels in Pakistan, the waters continue to rise. Many areas are still cut off and millions of people are in desperate need of immediate help. Reconstruction efforts must begin immediately to avoid devastating long-term consequences for the country.
In the first year of our response, we have reached over 2.4 million people with humanitarian aid in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh and Azad Jammu Kashmir. Oxfam's response focused on clean water, sanitation kits and hygiene supplies, food and essential household items, shelter, and helping with the initial rescue work.
Kristalina Georgieva, European Humanitarian Commissioner, today visited Pakistan to see the effect of the devastating floods on the country. More than 17 million people are now affected by the floods – in an area that now constitutes the world's largest freshwater lake.
As the world's leaders gathered for a special session of the General Assembly in New York, Oxfam urged the international community to avoid grand gestures and take immediate action to get aid to those affected by the Pakistani floods.
The UK government has made a good start in committing more than £30m ($38m). But it can and should do much more to help the people of Pakistan. This is a disaster on an unprecedented scale which needs an equally robust response.