By Jacob Grismer
Over the summer, a third of Pakistan was flooded after record breaking rain, covering the country with dirty green water, collapsing the country’s economy, and raising the risk of disease. 33 million people have been affected and was called “the worst Humanitarian disaster of this decade” by Pakistan’s minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman. According to other Pakistani officials, 1,500 people have died and it may take 3 to 6 months for the floods to recede.
Many experts cite climate Change as a key factor in the floods. The Global Climate Risk Index 2021 ranked Pakistan as one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change despite being one of the lowest emitters of greenhouse gases. Pakistan will be experiencing more extreme weather events like their recent record heat waves and floods. Many use this as a case of climate injustice since it affects the low-emission countries more despite more-developed countries polluting more and being affected less. Others will point to poor urban and rural planning as worsening the impacts of the floods as large communities and buildings have been put along rivers, some illegally.
Currently, many relief efforts are underway like the United Nations joint appeal to give $160 million for relief efforts and the US giving $30 million in aid. This is unlikely to come close to covering the full expense, which Pakistani authorities estimate will cost upwards of $10 billion. Many who have lost their livelihoods, shelter, access to clean drinking water, sources of food, and must resort to living on islands of rubble.