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A young boy sat on the ground in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. It was a miraculous dry spot with one-third of the country’s land under water. One hand reached for the rice in front of him, served in a plastic bag.
“We do not have the luxury to distribute food on plates,” Sarah Ahmed explained.
She works with Al-Mustafa Welfare Society, a local nonprofit that connected emergency relief staff with cooks across flooded areas of Pakistan. They made rice or biryani in bulk for the boy in Balochistan and nearly a million others who needed food as the floodwaters rose and washed away homes.
“We can do whatever we can with limited resources, and we try to reach as many people as we can,” Sarah said.
Making sure the boy in Balochistan and millions of other survivors had food to eat—that was the early days of the response to the Pakistan floods. More than eight months have passed since then—since people climbed trees or onto trucks just to stay safe. Millions needed medicine, shelter, and sanitation. And that says nothing of their livelihoods, like land and livestock, that were swallowed up by the rising waters.
Ultimately, 33 million people were affected by the floods that started with historic heavy rainfall last June. More than 1,700 people died. Two million homes were damaged or destroyed.
“And it’s not just about houses—the roads, the bridges, and local economies are totally crippled,” Sarah said.
Pakistan is responsible for emitting less than 1 percent of the greenhouse gasses that are accelerating the climate crisis. Yet, Pakistan is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world in terms of impacts from extreme weather events, according to the Global Climate Risk Index.
Read the full article about flooding in Pakistan by Merinda Valley at Global Giving.