News / Asia

Pakistanis Flee As More Towns Flood

Raging floodwaters have inundated more districts in southern Pakistan, where officials say the world has given or pledged more than $800 million to help the country cope with its natural disaster.

Pakistani authorities have diverted their resources and rescue operations toward southern parts of Sindh Province, where rising river waters have hit at least four more districts, including urban areas.  The floods forced tens of thousands of people in the region to flee for higher ground.

Exceptionally heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan triggered the worst floods in northwestern Khyber-Pakhtoonkhawa Province three weeks ago.  Raging floodwaters have since inundated thousands of villages and towns across central Punjab, southern Sindh and southwestern Baluchistan provinces.

Watch the Latest Footage of Pakistan's Flooding:

The United Nations appealed for nearly $460 million to meet the most urgent needs of the flood victims in Pakistan for the next three months.  The initial response to the appeal was slow.

But Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters in Islamabad last week's U.N General Assembly's special session to discuss the flood-ravaged country's needs has led to an encouraging increase in the international aid.

"And the money already committed as $490 million.  So that means we have crossed the (U.N) appeal figure (of 460)," said Qureshi.  "Then there are additional pledges that are being made.  If you put these two figures together the figure that comes to is $815,058,000. That is almost double than the figure that we were expecting."

The Pakistani foreign minister says his country is grateful for the international assistance.  The United States has been the largest contributor. In addition to $150 million aid for flood victims, Washington has sent 19 helicopters to help Pakistan with relief efforts.

Foreign Minister Qureshi defended his government's decision to accept $5 million in assistance offered by rival India, with which Pakistan has fought three wars.

"Let us be realistic about things.  Here we are appealing to the world to help Pakistan save lives.  Children, women and Pakistanis are under threat because of cholera, because of water-born disease, and the world has come out to help Pakistan," he said.  "Now India has offered assistance. And I think it was a positive gesture and we should have no remorse or regrets doing that [accepting the Indian aid].  This is a question of humanity, humanitarian assistance.  So let us keep politics aside."

The worst floods in Pakistan's history have affected an estimated 20-million people with several million losing their homes. The natural disaster has caused widespread damage to crops, agricultural land, roads, bridges, and other infrastructure on one-fifth of Pakistan's territory.

The increasingly unpopular Pakistani government has been accused of moving too slowly to help the flood victims.  Critics say it will come under increased pressure after floodwaters recede because millions of people will want the government to quickly rebuild their homes and compensation for the loss of crops as well as livestock.

Officials anticipate the floodwaters will recede nationwide in the next few days as the surge in the Indus River is expected to empty into the Arabian Sea.  

Government officials say at least 1,600 people have died in flood-related incidents.  But aid workers say poor hygiene, sanitation and stifling heat conditions in the disaster zone could trigger another wave of deaths.

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More