Most people don’t know this, but famous actress, Angelina Jolie, is a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, highly respected as a humanitarian.
Angelina arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday, visiting the country that has had severe flooding that has killed more than 1,600 people.
She was watched worldwide on television on online, arriving in Karachi, in the Southern Sindh province, where the ravaging floods have killed more than 962 people since June, leaving about half a million people displaced and homeless.
According to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Angelina Jolie’s visit to Pakistan is to help support affected communities and bring awareness to the effects of the climate crisis in the country. In a tweet shared by the IRC, they wrote about Jolie’s experience in Pakistan and highlights of her visit. Angelina also visited Pakistan after the devastating floods of 2010 and the 2005 earthquake.
The floods in Pakistan began on June 14, 2022, due to monsoon rains this year that were heavier than usual. Before the rain, Pakistan and India went through an extreme heat wave, with temperatures going as high as 121°F in some parts of Pakistan. The heat wave resulted in the death of 65 people in Pakistan and contributed to massive flooding.
A state of emergency due to the flooding was declared by the government on August 25, 2022. Three days later, Pakistan’s climate change minister announced that about a third of the country was buried under water.
On September 20, UNICEF reported that the devastating floods had destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, and most public health facilities, schools, and water systems. Over three million children in the country have lost their homes and are at risk of malnutrition, drowning, and waterborne diseases.
United Nations officials reported that the floods have affected close to eight million people, and that they are helping bring relief items to the stranded flood victims. They reported that more than 1600 people had died, including 552 children and 318 women.
Ahsan Iqbal, Pakistan’s Planning Minister, and the head of a national flood response center in the country, said that he fears the disease outbreak in the country will get out of control.
Makeshift hospitals have seen an alarming number of people come in with waterborne diseases, with 72,000 people treated on Monday alone. Over 2.5 million people have been treated for waterborne diseases since July, and malaria and diarrhea cases are rising. Healthcare facilities are “overwhelmed.”
In addition to the heavy human toll, the disaster has cost the Pakistani economy an estimated $30 billion in damages.