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The Pakistan floods: Five ways you can help
One third of Pakistan is underwater due to extreme flooding. One in seven of the country’s population has been affected. That is, 33 million people. Want to help? This is how.
Monsoon rains and flooding over the last few weeks have killed more than 1,000 people - including 207 women and 348 children. Causalities will continue to soar as the country experiences three times its national 30-year average rainfall.
The Pakistan Government have declared an emergency and are seeking help from the international community. Here are five ways you can help.
1. Donate to Concern
Having worked in the country for over 20 years, Concern’s teams are currently responding in the provinces of Balochistan, Sindh, and Punjab. Our relief packages include cash transfers that enable extremely vulnerable families to buy the essentials that they need most.
It is difficult to put into words the scale and enormity of this destruction that our teams are witnessing, but it is extremely critical that these communities get our help.
Those affected are using the cash to buy food, dry rations, tarpaulins and makeshift tents, as well as using it for essential medications and transportation where possible.
Our plan is to scale up our response on the ground, and we would welcome any support so that we can help people in Pakistan when and where they need it most.
2. Educate yourself
Another way to help is to educate yourself on the crisis and recovery. It can be therapeutic for those who have gone through crises, including climate catastrophes, to talk about what happened. Be supportive by lending a listening ear – even virtually.
It’s also important to understand why disasters such as these happen.
In part, the floods were caused by weeks of extreme monsoon rainfall and glacier melting as a result of climate change. Pakistan produces less than 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions but suffers disproportionately from climate change. In fact, the country is among the top 10 most climate-vulnerable countries in the world.
However, the floods have also come at a time when Pakistan was already trying to cope with “one of the worst economic crisis in its history with high inflation and food and fuel prices rocketing.” [Lucia Ennis] Pakistan is also still facing a Covid-19 pandemic, which means that displacement caused by the floods could lead to a spike in cases.
3. Spread awareness
Retweeting, liking, commenting, and sharing stories online can be a massive show of support, help spread awareness, and drive further humanitarian action. For you, it might just be a click of a button. For someone else, it might mean the world.
It also means you are helping to educate others on the impact climate change is having on the people who have the least to do with its causes.
4. Reach out
If you have family, friends or colleagues in Pakistan, reach out to them and make sure they are ok. One in seven people have been affected. This means that even if they have not been impacted directly, they will probably know someone who has. In difficult times, it’s important to have people around who go that little extra mile. Be that person!
5. Support Concern in other ways
If donating money isn’t an option for you right now, there are many other ways you can support Concern and the work that we do.
We have a number of events and challenges running throughout the year including climbing mountains, running marathons and eating rations. We also have lots of wonderful charity shops that you can donate to or shop in dotted around Northern Ireland. Or, if you’ve got time but not bric-a-brac spare, you can also volunteer with us.
As the situation becomes more and more grave, there is no time to lose. Please help if you can.
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