Several UN human rights experts have called on member countries to help floods-hit Pakistan, calling it an “international obligation.”
“The global climate crisis has contributed to these terrible floods and caused unprecedented human suffering in Pakistan. All countries that have contributed to the global climate crisis have an international obligation to assist Pakistan with its recovery,” said a group of UN experts in a joint statement released on Wednesday in Geneva.
The raging floods have affected over 33 million of the country’s approximately 220 million people, causing a staggering loss of over $30 billion in damages to an already weakened infrastructure.
Almost 45% of the country’s cropland has already been inundated by the floods, posing a serious threat to food security and further adding to the already skyrocketing inflation.
The death toll due to floods has risen to 1,569 since mid-June, according to the country’s National Disaster Management Authority’s latest data.
Besides, the total number of houses damaged across the country has crossed two million, official estimates suggest.
The UN experts said Pakistan and its people have only modestly contributed to global warming that has resulted in extreme weather events and climate change.
“It is important that international relief efforts are guided by human rights, prioritising humanitarian assistance and relief to the most vulnerable. In re-housing those who have been left homeless by climate change-induced monsoon floods, Pakistan needs to renew attention to land rights and security of tenure,” they said.
These experts stated that practices such as forced evictions and uncontrolled deforestation can exacerbate the effects of climate change.
“Many people who have been affected by the floods have no titles to land and homes, so they have chosen to remain closer to their residences, putting themselves and their families at risk,” they added.
They suggested Pakistan regularize informal housing as a “bulwark of building a society equipped to withstand the impact of climate-induced events.”