UN chief urges world to support flood-hit Pakistan

SUKKUR: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday urged the international community to support flood-hit Pakistan as the country needed massive financial help to overcome post-flood crises.

“It is not a matter of generosity, but a matter of justice,” he said reiterating the UN’s commitment, strong support and solidarity with the flood-affected populace of Pakistan. Guterres said that huge damages and losses were caused to human lives and properties.

The UN absolutely supported the Pakistani nation and requested the well-resourced nations to support the country massively, so that it could face the future challenges of climatic changes and save its nation.

He stressed that the international community must realize the serious impacts of greenhouse emissions as nature was striking back in the form of natural calamities. The issue of greenhouse gases had accelerated the climatic changes and the nations having larger greenhouse emissions footprints must understand these issues, he added.

According to the scientific estimates, the UN secretary-general emphasized that now, it was a time to reduce greenhouse emissions. He said it was also a fact that they were living in a climatic changing era and have to make efforts to rebuild communities and to enable the countries to resist and face the future disasters that could be wrought by the natural calamities.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb provincial ministers and the relevant authorities were also present. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah gave a detailed briefing over the damages and loss of lives in the province.

He said during the current monsoon season, different districts of the province had received unusual rainfall never witnessed in the past. He said that 30 districts of the province were affected, displacing about 12 million, adding that a total of 578 people lost their lives. A total of 3 million houses were destroyed and crops grown on an area of about 3.3 million acres were damaged while 500,000 livestock had been swept away.

The chief minister said that Pakistan had been facing the impacts of global warming and climatic changes, adding that they required the international community’s financial support for the relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.

Earlier, the prime minister along with UN secretary general and the federal ministers took an aerial review of the flood affected areas of the Sindh province. PM Shehbaz Sharif and the UNSG Antonio Guterres will also visit the flood affected areas of Balochistan after Sindh to review the ongoing rescue and relief efforts and the damages caused by the calamity. They will also meet with the flood victims.