Disasters & Accidents

Malala worried by school closures in flood-hit Pakistan

Islamabad, Oct 12 (EFE).- Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai expressed her concern Wednesday over the closure of hundreds of schools in flood-affected areas in Pakistan, where more than 1,700 people have died and 33 million have been affected by sustained heavy rainfall.

The world’s youngest Nobel laureate arrived in her homeland on Tuesday, 10 years after the Taliban shot her in the head for campaigning for girls’ education, to see first-hand the damage caused by the floods and to raise awareness of the catastrophe.

“A total of 1,200 schools have been closed, affecting two million students” in the southern province of Sindh, regional education minister Sardar Shah conveyed to Malala during the Nobel laureate’s visit to the Chandan area, according to a press release from the provincial health department.

“Malala expressed concern about the situation and its impact on education,” the statement said.

Accompanied by her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, the 25-year-old visited a camp for people displaced by the floods and met with female residents in the makeshift tents.

The prominent activist’s visit “will help raise international awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Sindh,” Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said in a separate statement praising Malala for her visit.

Malala Fund, a non-profit organization formed by the 2014 Nobel laureate and her father, granted emergency aid to the International Rescue Committee to support relief efforts and rebuild 10 government schools damaged by the devastating floods.

“She supported an appeal led by the Disasters Relief Committee, a group of 15 UK charities, which helped raise over £30 million (about $34 million) for flood relief,” the Fund told EFE.

This is Malala’s second visit to Pakistan since she was attacked. She visited her hometown in May 2018 in an emotional trip in which she championed the role of women.

The activist’s visit coincides with an upsurge in insurgent violence in the Swat Valley, where she lived and was attacked, and which was a stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban between 2007 and 2009 until the army regained control of the territory after a large-scale operation. EFE


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