Angelina Jolie visits Pakistan as officials warn floodwaters could take ‘six months to recede’
Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has arrived in Pakistan to support victims of the historic flooding, which has affected more than 33 million people.
Television footage from Pakistani media shows Ms Jolie, a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), arriving at an airport in Karachi, the capital of southern Sindh province, where flooding has killed 692 people in the past three months.
The climate crisis has led to catastrophic flooding in the country, with the death toll now at 1,559, including 551 children and 318 women. Officials have warned that it could take “up to six months for floodwaters to recede” in the hardest-hit areas.
Ms Jolie reportedly went to see the flood-affected areas in one of the worst affected regions of Dadu, where waterborne diseases have also caused nearly 300 deaths since July, and spoke to people about their needs.
According to the Internationl Rescue Committee, a prominent international aid group, Ms Jolie is visiting Pakistan to support communities affected by the devastating floods.
“Ms Jolie is visiting to witness and gain understanding of the situation, and to hear from people affected directly about their needs and about steps to prevent such suffering in the future,” the IRC said in a statement.
“Ms Jolie, who previously visited victims of the 2010 floods in Pakistan, and the 2005 earthquake, will visit the IRC’s emergency response operations and local organisations assisting displaced people, including Afghan refugees.”
The visit comes as Pakistan’s prime minister Shahbaz Sharif is in New York for the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, where he is set to highlight the damage caused by climate change-induced floods in the impoverished country.
Pakistan has suffered damage worth more than $30bn (£26.5bn) from the flooding, which has been attributed by scientists to the man-made climate crisis.
Pakistan, which has contributed less than 1 per cent of global carbon emissions, is one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of the climate crisis and has demanded rich countries pay climate reparations.
Meanwhile, an outbreak of waterborne and viral diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, diarrhoea and skin infections has overwhelmed the system across provinces as several areas remain submerged.