As Atlantic Canada continues the long road to recovery in the wake of Hurricane Fiona, PSAC’s Social Justice Fund has pledged $25,000 to the Canadian Red Cross as part of the Hurricane Fiona in Canada Appeal to help communities rebuild. The Red Cross is working closely with local, provincial, and federal governments to get humanitarian assistance delivered to people in need as quickly as possible, and with Indigenous communities in the Atlantic to assess damage and needs moving forward.
The Red Cross has set up a shelter in Port Aux Basques, one of the hardest hit areas in the Atlantic, and a shelter in Sydney, Cape Breton. Work continues to expand emergency housing throughout the region.
Flood Relief in Pakistan
The Social Justice Fund is also supporting the dire humanitarian crisis caused by the worst floods in Pakistan’s history that have destroyed more than one million homes and over 5,000 roads and bridges. There was nearly 190% more rain in Pakistan than its 30-year average from June to August. Rain is typical in September, but not to this degree.
PSAC has contributed to the Oxfam relief effort for Pakistan that will concentrate on providing emergency food aid, water and sanitation support, including hygiene kits and temporary shelters.
The devastating flooding in Pakistan and Hurricane Fiona are two examples that climate change and one of its outcomes—extreme weather patterns—are here to stay.
“We cannot look at these disasters as isolated incidents, but as part of a global climate crisis that has to be addressed with a sense of urgency,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC national president. “Canada and other nations across the globe need to act now to mitigate the impacts of climate change on generations to come.”
Producing less than 1 per cent of global carbon emissions but ranked as one of the countries most impacted by climate change, one third of Pakistan is currently under water, and more than 33 million people have been affected by the worst climate disaster in a decade.
Prior to the flooding, farmers, the “poorest of the poor,” faced another national emergency due to locusts, compounded by drought, heat waves, and record high inflation following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Flooding has submerged rice fields, led to rotten apple orchards, and damaged cotton crops. Water from the Indus River—one of the longest rivers in the world—wreaked havoc on 2 million acres of land, or 15% of the country’s rice and 40% of cotton crops.
These unprecedented monsoon conditions continue to devastate and displace vulnerable communities across the country. Millions have lost their livelihoods due to destroyed crops, and widespread food insecurity has exacerbated what is only a growing public health and economic crisis. More than 1,600 people have already died, and the damage and effects of water-borne illness will take years to recover from.