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Floods devastate southern Pakistan

Prime Minister and President are urging international assistance

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(Antler)

At least 200 people have died, and five million people have become displaced as the most recent monsoon rains hit the southern part of Pakistan. The country has yet to recover from the devastating floods last year, which displaced 20 million people and killed 1,700, according to the Guardian.  

While the rains have been affecting Pakistan since last month, the government has been reluctant to ask for international assistance. They officially declared it an emergency last Thursday, reports the Guardian.   

According to the U.N., while the government has reacted swiftly, setting up 4,000 medical camps, and has provided refuge for 150,000 people, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani's please for international assistance are warranted, reported VOA. Need remain enormous.  In a press release, on Saturday, they announced that the world body had launched a response to Pakistan's disaster.

The floods have devastated some of Pakistan's most poverty stricken areas, and provide another challenge to President Asif Ali Zardari, who is struggling to manage a country plagued by shaky finances, militant violence, and political upheaval.

21 districts have been affected by the recent rains and the subsequent flooding that has spread across 4.1 million acres of land. The floods have also destroyed 1.7 million acres of agricultural land, according to Gilani, according to Pakistan Today.

According to the Guardian, more than 300,000 houses have collapsed, as water has been eroding mud walls. Many victims have been electrocuted, drowned, and an infant was crushed by a wall.

Even after the rains have stopped, stopping the spread of disease will be the biggest challenge, as disease can be spread easily by the dead farm animals rotting in the still flood water. 

Tens of thousands of families, rendered homeless by last year floods, are still currently displaced.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/pakistan/110912/floods-devastate-southern-pakistan