Authorities have warned that it could take up to six months for floodwaters to recede in some of the country’s hardest-hit areas, as fears mount over the threat of waterborne diseases, including cholera and dengue.
Jolie is “visiting to gain a witness and understanding of the situation, and to hear directly from the affected people about their needs and steps to prevent such suffering in the future,” the statement said.
He will visit the IRC’s response operations and local organizations that are helping displaced people, he added.
It is unclear whether Jolie has arrived in Pakistan, or how long the trip is expected to take.
Pakistan’s Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman called the situation “the worst humanitarian disaster of this decade” and called for urgent international help to provide “food, tents and medicine”.
“Karachi is witnessing a dengue outbreak as hundreds and thousands of patients are being reported daily in government and private hospitals. Dengue cases this year are 50% higher than last year. With 584,246 people in camps across the country, it could lead to a health crisis if the disaster goes unchecked,” Rehman said last week.
The country is also facing the possibility of severe food shortages, with up to 70% of staple crops such as rice and maize destroyed. The total economic damage is expected to exceed 30 trillion dollars, three times the estimates of previous governments.
Jolie will “see first-hand how countries like Pakistan pay the highest cost for a crisis they did not cause,” the IRC said in a statement.
“The IRC hopes that its visit will shed light on this issue and encourage the international community – especially the states that contribute the most to carbon emissions – to provide urgent assistance to countries suffering from the climate crisis,” he added.
Jolie visited the country in 2005 and 2010 after natural disasters, the IRC said.