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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    Party's presumptive presidential nominee, her vice presidential pick deliver optimistic message in Florida as they campaign for first time together

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora