Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has written a letter to the Foreign Secretary urging her department to do more to support the people of Pakistan, following floods that have devastated the nation. The full letter can be read here with a plain text version below.
For those who are able and wish to donate to humanitarian organisations, please see below for some suggested charities.
The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
King Charles Street
Floods in Pakistan
Dear Secretary of State,
I am writing in my capacity as the Member of Parliament for Denton and Reddish to express my profound sadness at the floods currently devastating Pakistan, and to urge you to act to address the scale of the crisis. 33 million people have been impacted by the floods so far, with 287,000 homes destroyed and over a 1,000 dead. My thoughts, as well as those of my constituents across Denton and Reddish, remain with the people of Pakistan, as well as the 1.2 million strong diaspora in the United Kingdom.
Existing infrastructure in Pakistan is unable to cope with the sheer scale of the flooding, with 149 bridges and 3,500km of roads damaged so far. This damage to critical infrastructure is impeding aid efforts, as well as preventing citizens from fleeing to safe areas. As a close friend of the people of Pakistan, it is essential that the UK plays its part and steps up to meet the scale of the challenge.
As it stands, the UK Government has contributed just 1% of the total required to meet urgent humanitarian needs. I have heard from constituents who are rightly worried that our current contribution will not come close to meeting the scale of the crisis in Pakistan.
I too am incredibly concerned at the lack of response from yourself and your department to this unfathomable crisis. I write to urge you to convene our international counterparts to coordinate and scale up a response that is proportionate to the magnitude of the emergency in Pakistan. We must act swiftly and robustly to ensure that the people of Pakistan receive proper support and assistance.
I also wish to be clear that this disaster constitutes a climate catastrophe, with Pakistan acutely vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather. We are seeing the real-world impact of climate inaction play out with unbearably tragic consequences. In this context, your recent comments relating to climate change have been profoundly irresponsible and worrying. So too has your government’s decision to cut £100m in international climate finance earlier this year. We cannot continue on this trajectory. The Government must take climate change seriously, honour its international climate finance commitments and lead action in the lead-up to COP27 in November. It is only through action that we can work to avoid further catastrophe and tragedy.
I hope you recognise the urgency of this matter and I look forward to your response.
MP for Denton and Reddish