A United Nations ‘Flash Appeal’ is to be launched simultaneously in Geneva and Islamabad on August 30 in view of massive devastation across Pakistan due to the unprecedented rains and the resultant floods. Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Friday confirmed during the weekly briefing in Islamabad that the UN was going to launch an international appeal for assistance to help the people affected by massive flooding. Initially, authorities in Pakistan were slow to react but the latest reports from the troubled regions indicate the damage caused by current floods is far greater than the super floods of 2010. “It is a moment of great challenge and adversity for Pakistan, as unprecedented rains and floods have caused massive devastation in various parts of the country, especially in Sindh and Balochistan,” the spokesperson said. He said the government announced a state of emergency owing to huge loss of life, property, infrastructure, livestock and livelihoods. Millions of people have been upended from their homes. “Around 33 million people have been affected. Close to a thousand lives have been lost. Rescue and relief operations are facing difficulties due to washed away infrastructure,” Asim told reporters. He said the federal and provincial governments and various departments and agencies including the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and its provincial equivalent (PDMAs), civil administration and armed forces – were leading a coordinated humanitarian response, for which all available resources and capacities are being deployed and mobilized. A National Emergency Operations Center is operating, and a National Relief Coordination Committee constituted by the prime minister is working under the chair of the minister for planning, he added. “The prime minister is himself steering the overall effort. On Friday morning Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met a group of Ambassadors to sensitize them to the scale of human tragedy.” The spokesperson said the scale of the disaster was so huge that it required urgent cooperation and support from the international community.