The situation in Pakistan following flash floods is horrendous. The trauma and suffering of the people in the areas affected is on an almost unimaginable scale.

The government of Pakistan estimates that a third of the country – an area the size of the UK – is under water. At least 1,100 people have died, and around 33 million people are affected – around one in seven Pakistanis. More than a million homes have been destroyed or badly damaged, leaving many people homeless and exposed to the elements. Whole villages have been cut off, with rescuers struggling to reach them.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said nearly one million livestock have been lost and crops washed away, and that any inadvertent delay by the international community in helping victims ‘will be devastating for the people of Pakistan’.

You may not be aware, but in terms of international development, Pakistan is one of the Scottish Government’s 4 main partnership countries, along with Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia. The Scottish Government states the following:

‘We place great importance on Scotland being a good global citizen. This means playing our part in tackling global challenges including poverty, injustice and inequality. At the forefront of our efforts is our annual £10 million International Development Fund (IDF), whose main aim is to support and empower our partner countries.’

I have written to the Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development to ask him to make every effort to support the people of Pakistan now and in coming weeks and months as they struggle to cope with the immediate impact of the floods, and then to rebuild homes, schools, hospitals, and all that they have lost overnight.

I would ask anyone who is able to do so to contribute to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal* as soon as possible. Other charities have also set up appeals so please consider making a donation to your preferred charity.

And for those who can’t afford it, given the huge financial challenges I know many people are facing, please show your support of the people of Pakistan by sharing information and messages of solidarity and condolence online.

These floods are extraordinary and can undoubtedly be laid at the door of man-made climate change. As always, poorer nations who create far lower emissions than richer ones reap the whirlwind of climate and environmental chaos. Scotland needs to speed up delivery of the many strands of its world leading climate emergency plan. This is a vital part of our contribution to reducing the incidence of events like these floods.

But in the immediate here and now, the most important aid we can give is financial. I look forward to an announcement from the Scottish Government about their commitment to Pakistan in their hour of direst need.

Thank you.

#PakistanFloods2002 #PakistanFloodsAppeal #DisastersEmergencyCommittee #DEC

*The Disasters Emergency Committee comprises British Red Cross, Christian Aid, Islamic Relief Scotland, Oxfam Scotland, Save the Children, Tearfund Scotland