‘I’ve never seen anything like this’: Angelina Jolie visits flood-ravaged Pakistan and calls for more international aid as she meets victims
Hollywood star and humanitarian Angelina Jolie has said the flood disaster in Pakistan should be a ‘wake-up call’ for the world regarding climate change, calling for more international aid after meeting with victims.
Pakistan has been lashed by unprecedented monsoon downpours that flooded a third of the country – an area the size of the United Kingdom – and killed nearly 1,600 people, according to the latest government figures.
More than seven million people have been displaced, many living in makeshift tents without protection from mosquitoes, and often with little access to clean drinking water or washing facilities.
Pakistan has been lashed by unprecedented monsoon downpours that flooded a third of the country – an area the size of the United Kingdom – and killed nearly 1,600 people, according to the latest government figures. Jolie, who represents the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), visited southern Sindh province, one of the worst-affected areas, where she met with displaced flood victims living in camps
Jolie, pictured speaking to flood victims, said she had ‘never seen anything like this’ at a meeting with military officials in Islamabad and called for the international community to provide more aid
The United Nations has warned of a ‘second disaster’ from diseases such as dengue, malaria, cholera and diarrhoea, as well as from malnutrition. Pictured: Jolie meets government and military officials during her visit to Pakistan
Pictured: Jolie meets with flood victims at a makeshift shelter in Ibrahim Chandio village at Johi town in Dadu district
‘I’ve never seen anything like this,’ said Jolie, who previously visited Pakistan to meet the victims of the devastating 2010 floods and a deadly 2005 earthquake, in footage released on Thursday.
‘I am absolutely with you in pushing the international community to do more… I think this is a real wake-up call to the world about where we are at,’ she told a meeting of civil and military officials in the capital Islamabad.
‘Climate change is not only real and it’s not only coming, it’s very much here.’
Displaced people walk to a safer area following the deadly climate catastrophe in the Swat Valley
Pakistani men receive food, distributed by Pakistani Army troops in a flood-hit area in Rajanpur, district of Punjab
Victims of flooding from monsoon rains leave their flooded home in Sehwan, Pakistan on September 09
Displaced people from heavy monsoon flooding take refuge as they prepare food at a temporary tent housing camp organized by the Turkish Red Crescent, in Sujawal, Pakistan on September 14
Jolie, who represents the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), visited southern Sindh province, one of the worst-affected areas, where she met with displaced flood victims living in camps.
The United Nations has warned of a ‘second disaster’ from diseases such as dengue, malaria, cholera and diarrhoea, as well as from malnutrition.
‘I have been speaking to people and thinking that if enough aid doesn’t come, they won’t be here in the next few weeks, they won’t make it,’ said Jolie.
Scientists have linked the record-breaking monsoon rains to climate change.
Victims of flooding from monsoon rains take their animals through the water in Sehwan, Pakistan on September 9
SEHWAN,HYDERABAD, PAKISTAN: Victims of flooding from monsoon rains carry grasses for their cattle
In February, the UN released its gravest report on climate change yet, saying the window of opportunity to save the planet is ‘rapidly closing.’
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report claimed that rising temperatures are now affecting all living things.
The report said if global warming isn’t limited to just another couple tenths of a degree, an Earth now struck regularly by deadly heat, fires, floods and drought in future decades will degrade in 127 ways with some being ‘potentially irreversible’.
Victims of flooding carry their belongings on a boat in Pakistan earlier this month after heavy downpours devastated the country
SEHWAN,HYDERABAD, PAKISTAN: A man takes his animals through the flooded area around them as Pakistan deals with devastating floods
‘The cumulative scientific evidence is unequivocal: Climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health,’ the report said.
Delaying cuts in heat-trapping carbon emissions and waiting on adapting to warming’s impacts, it warns, ‘will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.’
Today’s children who may still be alive in the year 2100 are going to experience four times more climate extremes than they do now even with only a few more tenths of a degree of warming over today’s heat.
But if temperatures increase nearly 2 more degrees Celsius from now (3.4 degrees Fahrenheit) they would feel five times the floods, storms, drought and heat waves, according to the collection of scientists at the IPCC.
Already at least 3.3 billion people’s daily lives ‘are highly vulnerable to climate change’ and 15 times more likely to die from extreme weather, the report says.
This aerial photograph shows a flooded area in Sukkur, Sindh province, on September 9
Victims of heavy flooding from monsoon rains wait to receive relief aid from the Pakistani Army in the Qambar Shahdadkot district of Sindh Province, Pakistan