The current humanitarian crisis caused by devastating flooding in Pakistan is heartbreaking. Floods now cover one-third of the country, and they’re estimated to have killed at least 1,400 people. Many tens of millions of people more have lost their homes and livelihoods. As ever in crises like these, women and children are being disproportionately affected. Aid agencies have reported that children are going hungry and that many people lack access to clean water and sanitation. Pregnant women are being crowded into relief camps, and many people are unable to access life-saving medicines.
Having previously worked as part of international humanitarian efforts, I know that local and international agencies would now be doing all they can to address immediate needs and provide clean water, sanitation, shelter, food and safety. But the task is huge, and it is vitally important that Australia is part of these efforts. With our recent contribution of a further $3 million in emergency humanitarian assistance, our government has now committed $5 million to Pakistan, because we do take our role as a good global citizen seriously.
The severity of these floods also highlights how important it is that our government continues our efforts to address the climate crisis. Climate change is making disasters like these floods more severe, leaving more people at risk of suffering, often in countries that have not been the main contributors to climate change. So this is an effort for us and for people across the world.