Global leaders “cannot continue to be bystanders” warns ShelterBox CEO

Sanj Srikanthan has been visiting people affected by monsoon flooding in Pakistan

26 November 2022

Press release - 26 November 2022


Months on from powerful monsoon flooding that left large swathes of Pakistan under water, millions of people still have nowhere to call home. More than 1,700 people have died in the floods and two million homes have been damaged or destroyed.

It’s the worst flooding the country has seen since 2010, however the international response has been hesitant at best. In 2010, the UK Government provided £134 million to the UN Pakistan Floods appeal – five times more than its response this year, which stands at £26.5 million. This, despite millions more people being affected.

The international disaster relief charity ShelterBox, which specialises in emergency shelter, has been helping people in the country since September. Like it did in 2010, the charity is supporting thousands of people with aid packages and is continuing to help thousands more.

Speaking from Pakistan, ShelterBox Chief Executive Sanj Srikanthan says: “Imagine if half of the UK’s population was devastated by floods – taking people’s homes, livelihoods, and lives – that’s what we’ve seen in Pakistan.

“The scale is unthinkable, yet a reality for 33 million people in Pakistan and the water in many places still hasn’t receded. Through no fault of its own, Pakistan is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the climate crisis.

“Global leaders cannot continue to be bystanders. This is our planet, our human crisis, and they must do more to share knowledge, technology, and funding to help people facing climate disasters right now and to support vulnerable communities against future disasters.”

It’s not just Pakistan either. ShelterBox regularly sees the impact human-driven global warming is having on the lives of people it’s helping across the world.

Extreme weather uproots people, only for them to be displaced again and again – like in the Philippines. In the Horn of Africa, the charity is responding to the worst drought to hit the region in more than forty years. In the Lake Chad Basin, ShelterBox is supporting people trapped between conflict and climate. The fast-shrinking freshwater lake where Chad, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Niger meet used to provide for more than 30 million people, but people are being forced to move in search of food.

ENDS

Notes to editors

  • It was announced in the Autumn statement that the UK Government’s oversees aid budget will remain at 0.5% of the national income. It was lowered to this in 2020 from 0.7%.

About ShelterBox

ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and other essential items to families who have lost their homes to disasters. With operational headquarters in Cornwall, the charity also has 14 affiliate organisations worldwide.

The charity has been Rotary International’s project partner in disaster relief since 2012. ShelterBox has supported more than 2 million people since it was founded in 2000. www.shelterbox.org

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