Pakistan appeals for humanitarian aid in Geneva today at the UN-sponsored International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan.
The gathering aims to raise funds for victims of flooding that occurred in Pakistan last year, in which 1,739 people were killed and 33 million Pakistanis impacted. Damages are estimated at $40 billion, but so far the UN has only raised about a third of its $816 million emergency aid goal.
In the short term, expect the conference to raise awareness of the devastating impact of the floods and lead to generous donations. Pledging countries are likely to use the gathering as a forum to address climate change, considered by scientists to be a contributing cause.
The focus on climate change, however, will detract from Pakistan’s economic crisis, which the natural disaster only worsened. Like regional neighbor Sri Lanka, Pakistan has suffered from rising food and fuel prices and a depreciating currency in the aftermath of a COVID-19-induced global recession, the war in Ukraine and internal economic mismanagement despite significant IMF aid.
Politically, as Pakistanis suffer from homelessness, poverty and a reduction in quality of life, expect this to empower right-wing Islamist factions channelling frustration into religious extremism and political action.
Nick is the Director of the Daily Brief and a contributing Senior Analyst to it. An attorney, his areas of expertise include international law, international and domestic criminal law, security affairs in Europe and the Middle East, and human rights.