Number of the Day: 175,000,000

Posted on August 17, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Disasters, Economy & Development, Environment
Total Views: 31762


Adil Najam

The only number more important than the number ‘One’ in Pakistan today is the number 175,000,000.

One represents the power of ‘You.’ 175,000,000 represents the power of ‘Us.’

The number for today (see previous numbers here, here, here, here, here) represents the total population of Pakistan. Because either we will all swim out of this crisis holding hands together. Or no one will.

If you doubt that, please read again the post from yesterday and the (lost) lessons of the 1970 Bhola Cyclone which not not devastated Pakistan but quite literally helped break up the country (Op-Ed version published in Express Tribune).

However, we do not need to overly dramatize the situation. It is dramatic enough already. Just take a look at all the other numbers; even though they do not even begin to explain the full magnitude of this disaster. (See earlier compilations here and here):

Pakistanis Directly Affected:
(According to the UN this eclipses even in the 2004 Tsunami, 2005 Kashmir Earthquake and the 2010 Haiti Earthquake combined)

Proportion of Pakistan now Submerged:
20% (One-Fifth) of the Country
(Greater than the size of all England, all Bangladesh, and some 140 different countries )

Proportion of Pakistanis now Affected:
11% – 1 Out of Every 9 Pakistanis
(Greater than the entire population of Sri Lanka, Netherlands, Switzerland, and over 150 different countries)

Pakistanis in Urgent Need of Food Relief:
(Others need assistance too, these are life-threatening)

Children at Risk of Disease:
(Cholera outbreaks have already been reported)

Pakistanis now Homeless:
(In need of immediate shelter assistance)

Pakistanis Reached by Relief Efforts:
(Compare to numbers above)

Agricultural Cropland Already flooded:
1,400,000 acres
(Also 10,000 cows have perished)

Houses Destroyed and Damaged:
(In every province of Pakistan)

Estimated Cost of Rebuilding After Floods:
(US$2.5B in Northern Areas only)

UN’s Appeal for Assistance:
(Made on August 11, 2010)

Amount Pledged by UN in Response to Appeal:
(Including $75.76M from USA, $$44M from Saudi Arabia, $32.3M from UK, $27M from UN, $26M from EU)

Amount Received by UN in Response to Appeal:
(As of August 17, 2010)

Tents Provided:
(By comparison, 1M tents  provided after 2005 Earthquake)

Boats Available for Rescue Activities:
(NMDA numbers, August 16)

Helicopters Available for Rescue Activities:
(NMDA numbers, August 16)

There is not much to say after this, is there? So let me say once again what I have already said:

The only number more important than the number ‘One’ in Pakistan today  is the number 175,000,000.

One represents the power of ‘You.’ 175,000,000 represents the power of ‘Us.’

25 Comments on “Number of the Day: 175,000,000”

  1. ASAD says:
    August 18th, 2010 1:56 am

    Astounding, absolutely astounding numbers.

  2. Yawar says:
    August 18th, 2010 1:59 am

    57 helicopters. 912 boats.
    We are doomed, indeed.

  3. Brian says:
    August 18th, 2010 2:03 am

    Thanks for pulling these numbers together. Indeed, a tragic tale of international neglect, including from my own country.

    Need=$15 Billion
    UN Appeal=$459 Million
    Pledged=$325 Million
    Received=$184 Million

  4. indian says:
    August 18th, 2010 2:08 am

    I fully sympathise with all the victims of these floods. Humans have exploited mother nature to the hilt. Nature is paying us back in the same coin…

  5. Yasmeen says:
    August 18th, 2010 3:39 am

    These are eye opening numbers. I hope they will in fact open the eyes of the world to the tragedy that awaits us.

  6. Anita says:
    August 18th, 2010 5:53 am

    R we moving towards famine after floods?

  7. Shahid says:
    August 18th, 2010 7:30 am

    Sincere heartfelt sympathies for the poor masses who are affected by the deluge.
    The richie rich of Pakistan must rise to the occassion, but they seem to be waiting for the charity to start somewhere else.
    Certainly the masses must rise against the callous rich people.
    Should’nt Pakistan learn from its all time great friend – China?

  8. Liz says:
    August 18th, 2010 9:38 am

    These are such disturbing numbers. I am surprised and ashamed that the news channels here are portraying is as a story of ‘just rains’ when it i such a big human crisis

  9. S.A.F. says:
    August 18th, 2010 9:40 am

    Adil, even in your few opening lines we can see the deep passion and pain that has been so evident in all of your posts on this subject. My prayers are with you.

  10. HarOON says:
    August 18th, 2010 11:25 am

    Prof. Najam, just heard you on NPR, you were great and I am so glad they did full hour on this and had you on the show.

    Pelase post the recording of that show here, I think others should hear it too:

  11. Angie says:
    August 18th, 2010 11:32 am

    Also heard you on NPR, very well spoken Prof. Najam. Your passion for humanity came through in your remarks.

  12. Darweesh says:
    August 18th, 2010 11:49 am

    ARY TV channel(Kashif Abbasi,s Programme) has shown in detail,how Vaderas,Makhdooms and MNA/MPA,s have saved their lands by getting protective Bands cut by Administration to divert water to populated areas in Sindh and Punjab,,,,,Resulting in Human catastrophy of unprecedented nature .
    Time to end Jagirdari Nizam in Pakistan but who would bell the cat? Armed Forces/Judiciary – Dictatorship????
    Would Ur Blog put video of this programme on display

  13. August 18th, 2010 11:56 am

    Thank you for the kind comments. I do not think there is any Pakistani who can speak about this calamity without passion and compassion in their heart.

    The full program (1 hr) can be heard here: (Also on the show were Mosharraf Zaid of The News, Shandana Khan of RSPN, and Zahid Hussain of The Wall Street Journal).

    The program’s web page – with listener comments – is here:

    More on this here:

  14. Carolyn says:
    August 18th, 2010 12:23 pm

    Prof. Najam, you were brilliant in the show: “You know how we win hearts and mind? Through the stomach?” Wonderful adn so right.

  15. Imran says:
    August 18th, 2010 12:39 pm

    Here is a very specific and pragmatic way to respond to this human calamity. It is assured to reach the effected in the shortest possible time. Details at

    Its time to act.

  16. Saba says:
    August 18th, 2010 12:44 pm

    Very well put. The way you have presented the numbers is very powerful and it highlights the extent of the challenges and also what is not being done. I hope we can beat this one.

  17. Watan Aziz says:
    August 19th, 2010 8:10 am

    Number of the Day: 10,000 New Lower Court Judges

    GOP needs to move ahead and make administrative allocation for 10,000 lower court judges.

    The land markings have all but disappeared. Bad “Patwaris” will join the ranks of thieves to rob the weak, yet one more time.

    There will be land disputes like no one has seen before.

    The only way to stem is problem to step up and expand the lower courts. Ahead of the time.

    I pray, the good folks can seen the light of the day and act with wisdom.

  18. Mohammed Amjad says:
    August 19th, 2010 2:11 pm

    I just listened to the long interview with Adil Najam on the US radio show. I must say I was impressed and amazed. The passion we always see in this blog was very evident also in his words and voice and even the host was being impacted. Great work by Adil Najam.

    I think someone had written this before also, but I wish we had even just one political leader in Pakistan who could speak with the same honesty and passions about the pain Pakistanis are going through.

  19. Rafique says:
    August 19th, 2010 5:15 pm

    This is a good list. I am specially focused in my giving on the groups and agencies that will be there for the long term since this is long term crisis.

  20. Daud says:
    August 19th, 2010 10:11 pm

    The most eye opening numbers are at the end of your list. The scale of the need and the pittance that is available!

  21. Sadia Hussain says:
    August 20th, 2010 3:43 am

    The foreign aid has started to pour up after the visit of UN Sectary General Ban KI Moon. The UN has donated 10 million for relief efforts and other countries have increased their donations too. It is now vital that a need assessment is done and the process of rehabilitation is started in a transparent manner. By ensuring transparency we can restore the faith of donors in our cause of helping the flood victims.

  22. ajay says:
    August 20th, 2010 5:21 am

    Pakistan President Zardari Interrupts Vacation to Investigate Flood Damage to Personal Property

  23. Qaiser says:
    August 20th, 2010 3:00 pm

    Thank you for compiling these numbers. I have not seen a better list that fully conveys just what we are facing!

  24. Ben says:
    August 21st, 2010 3:34 pm

    Floods are not only tearing through Pakistan’s breadbasket, these are possibly breeding increased militancy. Read more at:

  25. Basheer Aslam says:
    September 12th, 2010 4:12 pm

    The magnitude of this flood still boggles the mind. I fear the real damage will come after the floods have gone. Because the real challenge is of reconstruction.

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