Islamabad, Pakistan, September 22, 2022 — The International Rescue Committee (IRC) and its local partner on ground hosted Ms. Angelina Jolie in Pakistan while she was visiting the flood affected areas in Sindh.
Lasting three days, Ms Jolie met with flood-affected communities and witnessed how their lives have been devastated by the ongoing rains. She spoke with women and children, many of whom remain caught in areas inaccessible to humanitarian aid and are at an increased risk of violence and abuse. Elsewhere, families continue to sleep in camps or makeshift shelters as they wait for additional support and basic lifesaving services.
The IRC and our partner organisations are on the ground in Pakistan, closely monitoring the situation and assessing humanitarian need. We have been providing lifesaving services since early July to flood-affected communities, and have so far reached out to almost 100,000 individuals with support including the distribution of emergency non-food items, dignity and hygiene kits, food baskets, and the establishment of medical camps and safe spaces.
Speaking of her visit, Angelina Jolie, said,
“The devastation in Sindh has been shocking; in all my life, I have never seen anything like this before. Families are sleeping under open skies and have lost everything in these floods.
“Climate change is not only real and it is not only coming - it is very much here. The real tragedy is that Pakistan contributes less than 1% of the world’s carbon footprint and yet millions of people have been displaced or lost loved ones. It is time for the world to wake up to this crisis and take action on climate change - we cannot ignore the consequences any longer.”
Shabnam Baloch, International Rescue Committee Pakistan Director, said,
“We were happy to have the opportunity to host Ms Angelina Jolie and support her in witnessing first hand the impact the floods have had on the lives of people in Pakistan. The IRC hopes that her visit will shine a spotlight on the ongoing situation and prompt world leaders to take decisive action to halt climate change and support countries bearing the brunt of the crisis.”
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) began operations in Pakistan in 1980 in response to the growing number of Afghan refugees. Our teams delivered food, shelter, safety, primary healthcare, education, vocational training, water supply systems, sanitation facilities, and other essential services to the Afghan refugees and host communities. Since then, the IRC now serves a wide group of marginalised, vulnerable, and impoverished groups across the country with public health, environmental health, education, disaster risk reduction, community services, and livelihoods support. In 2020, our teams met the needs of 43 million people under its COVID-19 emergency response.