Pakistan film star calls for international help following decimating floods
International icon and award-winning film star Mehwish Hayat has launched a global appeal for help in the wake of the catastrophic floods affecting her home country of Pakistan.
Since late July, extreme monsoon downpours have wreaked havoc across the country, displacing over 33 million people. Official figures suggest over one and a half thousand people have lost their lives so far, and this number is increasing daily. Pakistan’s planning minister has estimated that at least $10bn (£8.5bn) of damage has been caused, and that serious food shortages will plague the nation for the foreseeable future.
As Penny Appeal's Global Ambassador, Ms Marvel star Mehwish has previously used her profile to raise lifesaving funds for other emergencies. These include the Ukraine crisis earlier this year, in which she mobilised support from the international Muslim community for Ukrainian refugees, noting that “suffering has no nationality, race, or creed.” Now, with her home country facing the worst flooding it has ever seen, the Karachi-born celebrity hopes her new appeal will bring relief and safety to Pakistan’s 220 million residents.
Appearing from one of the worst-affected regions, Ms Hayat spoke of the situation on the ground, and of Penny Appeal’s work responding to the disaster. "One third of the country is underwater," she told BBC News. "People have no food, no shelter, no livelihood. Their crops are washed away. Their livestock is all gone. It's only going to get worse."
Since the onset of the floods, Penny Appeal has been working tirelessly in 13 affected districts and has so far provided emergency cooked food to over 30 thousand people, supplied 164,000 litres of drinking water, and delivered hygiene supplies and non-perishable food to hundreds of families. In the aftermath of previous flooding that hit Pakistan two years ago, Penny Appeal constructed permanent shelters for fishing communities, enabling families to rebuild their lives. With Mehwish’s help, Penny Appeal is hoping to increase the scope of the current response and provide shelter solutions for those recovering from the current disaster.
"I felt that I needed to do more," Mehwish told the studio. "So I'm working with Penny Appeal, and I'm launching this global appeal with them to get help wherever we can. Right now we have Penny Appeal on the ground helping the thirteen most affected areas, giving them food, drinking water and medical aid. But so much more help is needed."
Penny Appeal founder Adeem Younis said the following: “There are some people who are just born to make a difference in the world. Mehwish Hayat is one of those people. She has been a driving force for change throughout her career, and she shows no signs of slowing down. We’re proud to support her work and we know that she will continue to do amazing things in the years to come.
The situation unfolding in Pakistan is one of the worst disasters the country has seen. The flooding has caused immense damage and loss of life, and it is clear that Pakistan faces a long road to recovery. This situation is unfolding rapidly, and more help is needed desperately. Please consider donating to help those affected by this devastating disaster. If we work together, we can make a difference and help Pakistan to rebuild.”
THURSDAY 1 SEP 2022