KARACHI: At least 324 people have died of malaria and other diseases in flood-hit areas of Pakistan, officials said on Wednesday. Actress Angelina Jolie expressed concern that many people she met during visits to flood-hit areas this week “can’t do it” if aid doesn’t arrive yet.
Many of the hundreds of thousands affected by the floods were living outside. Hundreds of kilometers of standing water can take two to six months to recede. Already, they have caused many cases of diarrhea, malaria, typhoid, skin and eye infections and dengue fever.
In an effort to raise awareness, Hollywood actress and humanitarian Jolie teamed up with international aid organization IRC to meet flood victims. He visited some of the worst affected areas in southern Sindh province.
“I’ve seen lives saved,” he said, but others “won’t be here in the next few weeks, they won’t make it.” His remarks while touring the nation’s flood relief center were captured on video and released by the nation’s military on Wednesday.
According to officials and humanitarian workers, displaced families need immediate assistance amid mosquito swarms and other dangers such as snake and dog bites. Despite the efforts of the government and international and local aid organizations, many are still in urgent need of food, shelter, medical care and medicine.
Due to Pakistan’s already inadequate sanitation system and lack of support, displaced families complain that they are forced to drink and cook with unsafe water. Pakistan received three times more rain during the record and strongest monsoon compared to three decades of normal rainfall. This combined with glacial melting led to record flooding.