- Funds will provide 5.2 million people with food, water, sanitation, emergency education, protection, and health support
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday announced a flash appeal for $160 million to support the Pakistan government's flood relief efforts.
Speaking at an event hosted by Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), he said “these funds will provide 5.2 million people with food, water, sanitation, emergency education, protection, and health support.”
He also said the world must take collective action against climate change and assist Pakistan in responding to the “colossal crisis”.
The announcement comes after Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said Pakistan needs more than $10 billion to repair the damage caused by monsoon rains.
Guterres said the government of Pakistan has released funds including immediate cash relief but the scale of needs is rising just like the flood water.
South Asia is one of the world’s worst climate hotspots and people living in the region are 15 times more likely to die from climate impacts than the rest of the world, the UN chief pointed out.
“As we continue to see more and more extreme weather events around the world, it is outrageous that climate actions are being placed on the back burner as the emission of greenhouse gases is rising, putting all of us everywhere in growing danger,” the UN chief said.
“Today it is Pakistan. Tomorrow it could be your country.”
“Let's stop sleepwalking towards the destruction of our planet through climate change,” he stressed.
He stated that the climate catastrophe in Pakistan had killed over 1,000 people with many more injured while millions have been rendered homeless.
“Schools and educational facilities have been destroyed. Livelihoods are shattered and critical infrastructure has been wiped out,” he said.
“The hopes and dreams of people have been washed away and every province of the country has been affected.”
He recalled that when he was posted in the UN Commission for Refugees, he witnessed the “enormous giving spirit of Pakistani people.”
“They are protecting millions of Afghan refugees and in many cases, sharing their limited resources. It breaks my heart to see these generous people suffering so much,” he said.
Pakistan and the UN jointly launched the “2022 Pakistan Floods Response Plan (FRP)” simultaneously in Islamabad and Geneva, urging the international community to support the government of Pakistan in scaling up and expanding its relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction efforts in flood affected areas across the country.
Addressing the launch ceremony, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said Pakistan needed the international community’s prompt and immediate support in stepping up and expanding its efforts to rebuild and reconstruct the devastated areas and other infrastructure.
He stressed that the international community must share the responsibility of supporting those countries that had been facing the threats of global warming and climate change.
"These international efforts would complement the government of Pakistan’s efforts," he said, urging the global community to fully back the flash appeal by contributing generously.
The government of Pakistan has asked for international community’s help. Let us work together to respond quickly and collaboratively to this colossal crisis.”
Relentless monsoon rains in Pakistan have submerged a third of the country underwater and claimed more than 1,100 lives.
The rains that began in June have unleashed the worst flooding in more than a decade, washing away swathes of vital crops and damaging or destroying more than a million homes.
Authorities and charities are struggling to accelerate aid delivery to more than 33 million people affected, a challenging task in areas cut off because roads and bridges have been washed away.
In the south and west, dry land is limited, with displaced people crammed onto elevated highways and railroad tracks to escape the flooded plains.