Flooding in southern Pakistan is shaping up to be a truly immense humanitarian disaster.
At least 5 million people are affected, nearly 200 people have been killed, 4.2 million acres flooded and 1 million homes destroyed in southern Pakistan. So far, the scale is destruction is not quite as large as last summer’s epic floods, but it is nonetheless a humanitarian emergency.
The UN mechanism for dealing with these kinds of emergenices is kicking into gear. Last week, Pakistan’s president asked Ban Ki Moon to declare an emergency. Over the weekend, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs began a preliminary needs assessment. I would imagine that in the next week that needs assessment will form the basis of a new emergency humanitarian appeal.
Then comes the hard part: convincing donors to contribute money to yet another on-going humanitarian crisis. So far, there are 18 open humanitarian appeals to which donors have contributed $4.4 billion. That amounts to just over 50% of the actual needs on the ground. In other words, donors have only given about half of what is required to fully respond to these global humanitarian crises (which includes the Horn of Africa Crisis, a food crisis in Yemen, drought and floods in Niger, and the Haiti earthquake recovery, among others.)
This is all to say that I don’t expect donors to be leaping to contribute funds to yet another global humanitarian crisis. That is a shame, though, because this flooding is shaping up to be a huge, huge disaster.