International Rescue Committee (IRC), a global humanitarian group that responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives, has roped in Angelina Jolie, in its efforts for humanitarian relief of flood affected Pakistanis. Heavy rains and floods across the country have impacted 33 million people and submerged one-third of the country.
The Hollywood actor arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, to support and directly speak to families affected by floods. In a press release, the IRC laid out the purpose of her visit: “The IRC hopes her visit will shed light on this issue and prompt international community — particularly states contributing the most to carbon emissions — to act and provide urgent support to countries bearing the brunt of the climate crisis.” Shabnam Baloch, Pakistan Country Director at the IRC said: “The climate crisis is destroying lives and futures in Pakistan, with severe consequences especially for women and children. The resulting economic loss from these floods will likely lead to food insecurity and an increase in violence against women and girls. We need immediate support to reach people in urgent need, and long-term investments to stop climate change from destroying our collective futures. With more rains expected in the coming months, we hope Angelina Jolie’s visit will help the world wake up and take action.”
The actor arrived in Dadu’s Zamzama oil fields via helicopter and used a boat to survey the villages of Johi, Dadu and its surrounding areas. The actor’s visit aims to witness and gain understanding of the situation, and to hear from people affected directly about their needs, and to highlight the urgent support needed for the people of Pakistan and long-term solutions to prevent such suffering in the future. According to the IRC, Jolie will also visit the IRC’s response operations and local organizations that are assisting displaced people.
Speaking at the National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) on September 21, 2022, after surveying the flood affected areas of Dadu, she commented about how Pakistan is suffering from consequences of climate change, massive destruction inflicted from calamity and the disaster being a real wakeup call for international community regarding the climate change crisis. Calling for increased global financial support, the actor spoke about children’s plight due to malnourishment after the devastating floods. She said that she has not witnessed anything like the current situation in Pakistan during her previous visits, adding that the countries that have contributed least to climate change are suffering its most vicious impact. Jolie previously visited Pakistan in the aftermath of the 2010 floods to support the affected communities, as well as after the devastating earthquake of 2005.
Before Angelina Jolie’s visit, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres also arrived on September 9 for a two-day visit to express his solidarity with Pakistan’s government and people over climate-induced floods. HH
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