The Stream

Pakistan Floods: Can the country recover from climate disaster?

On Wednesday, July 28 at 19:30 GMT:

The Stream takes a look at recovery efforts following disasters in Pakistan and Puerto Rico that are both linked to climate change.

It’s been more than three months since catastrophic flooding in Pakistan initiated one of the country’s most severe climate change-related humanitarian crises. With 33 million people affected and a death toll that has surpassed 1,500, authorities are now raising alarm about the potential for a new wave of deaths resulting from water-borne diseases along with hunger due to the devastation of crops. “All this means more unsafe births, more untreated diabetes or heart disease, and more children missing vaccination, to name but a few of the impacts on health,” warned The World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. As the country continues to struggle to handle the ongoing humanitarian issues, it also strains under a parallel financial crisis, with total loss resulting from the floods estimated at $30bn just months ahead of $1bn debt obligation that’s due at the beginning of December. We look at the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Pakistan following recent devastating floods.

Puerto Rico: 
Flooding, mudslides and blackouts have incapacitated Puerto Rico following the landfall of Hurricane Fiona on September 18. The storm knocked out power across the US island territory, and now ten days later, hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans continue to live without access to power and water. Meanwhile, some communities remain entirely cut off from access to aid as fuel for backup generators begins to run low. Fiona landed days before the five year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, which devastated the territory and killed more than 3,000 people in 2017. This most recent hurricane is a stark warning of the threat that compounding climate-related events pose to vulnerable communities and critical infrastructure on an island that never fully recovered from the impact of Maria. We discuss recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and what’s needed to bolster the island against future severe weather events.

In this episode of The Stream, we are joined by:
Neha Mankani, @Nehamanks
Founder, Mama Baby Fund

Damary Burgos
Member, Brigada Solidaria del Oeste

Basav Sen, @BasavIPS
Project Director, Institute for Policy Studies