Pakistan says it will cost at least US$10 billion ($14.6 billion) to rebuild and repair — an impossible sum for the deeply indebted nation — but the priority is food and shelter for 33 million people affected.
Pakistan receives heavy — often destructive — rains during its annual monsoon season, which are crucial for agriculture and water supplies.
People affected by floods receive food in Bajara Sehwan, Sindh province, Pakistan, on 9 September 2022. Source: AAP / EPA
But downpours as intense as this year’s have not been seen for decades, and Pakistan officials blame climate change, which is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather around the world.
Pakistan is responsible for less than one per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions but is eighth on a list compiled by the NGO Germanwatch of countries most vulnerable to extreme weather caused by climate change.
Mr Guterres plans to tour flood-hit parts of the south on Saturday and also visit Mohenjo-Daro, a centuries-old UNESCO-designated world heritage site threatened by the deluge.
Tents and tarpaulins needed
A flood relief plan compiled by the Pakistan government and UN calls for an immediate US$160 million ($233.6 million) in international funding, and aid is already arriving.
The meteorological office says Pakistan received five times more rain than normal in 2022. Padidan, a small town in Sindh province, has been drenched by more than 1.8 metres since the monsoon began in June.
People affected by floods live in temporary shelters in Bajara Sehwan, Sindh province, Pakistan, on 9 September 2022. Source: AAP / EPA
The effect of the rains has been twofold — flash floods in rivers in the mountainous north that washed away roads, bridges and buildings in minutes, and a slow accumulation of water in the southern plains that have submerged hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of land.
With people and livestock cramped together, the camps are ripe for outbreaks of disease, with many cases of mosquito-borne dengue reported, as well as scabies.
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