Don’t Let Young Pakistanis’ Futures Be Washed Away by Yasmine Sherif & Gordon Brown – Project Syndicate
EDINBURGH – Following this year’s catastrophic flooding in Pakistan, millions of young Pakistanis’ life opportunities are hanging by a thread. The floods caused more than $10 billion worth of damage, and emergency support is urgently needed to rebuild. The crisis will be top of mind as United Nations Secretary-General Ant?nio Guterres and 120 national leaders gather later this month in New York for the Transforming Education Summit.
The roughly 16 million children who have been displaced by the floods are merely the latest of Pakistan’s young people to lose out on education, joining an already huge population of 22.8 million children who are out of school. Worse, as landslides follow the floods, the threat of famine is increasing. Around 45% of the country’s agricultural land has already been destroyed. The humanitarian situation is rapidly deteriorating to dangerous levels.
In recent years, we have visited many of the areas of Pakistan that are now underwater – where more than 1,100 people have now been killed, one million homes have washed away, and 33 million Pakistanis have been affected. With some provinces having had five times more rainfall than the 30-year average for this time of the year, 66 districts have been declared “calamity hit,” including 31 in Balochistan, 23 in Sindh, nine in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and three in Punjab. Four million acres of crops and 800,000 livestock have already been wiped out.
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