The slow response to the crisis in Pakistan continues to dominate thinking and strategy at the United Nations. Tonight, Ban Ki-moon will appeal personally to the General Assembly for emergency aid.
The number of people in need of immediate assistance has now risen to eight million, according to the UN. Those new figures come amid fears of fresh flooding as the survivors continue their daily struggle.
“We are receiving food but only sporadically. We are poor people and are here because of the flood waters. We all have children and wonder how we will provide food for them,” explained Waziran Begum, a victim of the floods.
In Islamabad, aid has arrived from Germany including tarpaulins for shelter. Four million are now homeless, according to figures just released by the UN.
It is not only the immediate crisis that is causing concern. The growing season is due to start next month but planting is a forlorn hope for village farmers.
“We grew mostly vegetables here. We used to grow all kinds. Now there is nothing left. The water will be standing here for the next three months, stopping us growing the next crop,” said Habibullah, a farmer in the Punjab region, the agricultural heartland of Pakistan.
As the UN meets in emergency session, the United States is expected to respond with an increase in donations.