Issue Brief on “‘Monsoon on Steroids’ – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s Visit to Pakistan”

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To show solidarity with the people of Pakistan UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited Pakistan for two days – 9th and 10th September 2022 – to take note of the flood-affected areas and pledge the UN’s support in the time of catastrophe. He visited some of the worst-affected areas in Sindh and Balochistan and met with residents, some of whom were directly impacted by the floods and had lost their loved ones, homes, and everything they owned, amid the near-continuous monsoon rainfall, flash flooding, and rain-induced landslides.[1] During his visit, he urged the international community to step up and play a proactive role to help countries like Pakistan which are more vulnerable in the wake of the climate change crisis.

Since mid-June 2022, Pakistan has witnessed an extreme monsoon which has led to the country’s worst flooding in a decade. Pakistan received nearly twice as much rain than the 30-year average in the quarter through August, totalling 390.7 millimeters (15.38 inches).[2] According to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the floods have affected more than 33 million people and destroyed or damaged more than 1 million houses. At least 1,100 people were killed by floodwaters that inundated tens of thousands of square kilometers of the country. The NDMA Chairman Lt-Gen Akhtar Nawaz cautioned regarding the changing weather pattern in Pakistan and highlighted four major indicators of climate change were witnessed — an early arrival of summer and minimum period of spring season; four major heat waves due to which the forests caught fire in different areas; an early advent of monsoon and more rains in during this season, adding even rains heavily lashed those areas which had very minimum chances in the past.[3]

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