Pakistan could see Tunisia-style unrest: Red Cross

Food insecurity caused by devastating floods in Pakistan could eventually lead to social unrest similar to that seen in Tunisia, the head of the international Red Cross federation warned on Monday.

Increasing disasters and conflicts across the world and shrinking aid from traditional Western donors meant emerging economies like India, China and Brazil should play a greater role in humanitarian relief, Tadateru Konoe said.

Pakistan is still reeling from floods six months ago that have left 11 million people homeless and devastated hundreds of thousands of hectares of crops in the traditional food-basket regions of Sindh and Punjab.

Konoe, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said some agricultural areas were still submerged, and resulting price rises and growing food insecurity could be destabilising.

“If the crops may be lost for successive years, that may develop into some sort of social unrest and political turmoil. That is what the president was very much worried about,” Konoe said.