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Rattled by havoc, UN chief calls for ‘massive’ help

  • Urges international community to help Pakistan in rehabilitation and reconstruction
Published September 10, 2022
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ISLAMABAD: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Friday said that Pakistan is in need of massive financial support to respond to the crisis that has caused as per estimate about $30 billion loss.

Addressing a press conference along with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif after visiting Flood Response Coordination Centre (FRCC), the UN secretary-general urged the international community to help Pakistan in rehabilitation and reconstruction as its contribution to climate change was minimal but is one of the most dramatically-affected countries by the climate change.

Antonio Guterres said that it is absolutely essential that this is recognised by the international community, especially by those countries that have contributed more to climate change and that effective justice is now found by mobilizing support for relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction after this devastating impact of monsoon causing accelerated melting of glaciers.

He said that support is entirely necessary because it is not a matter of solidarity but a matter of justice because Pakistan has not contributed in a meaningful way to climate change but is one of the most dramatically-impacted countries by climate change and is at the frontline of the impact of the climate change.

The UN secretary-general further stated, “we have waged a war on nature and nature is striking back in a devastating way and today in Pakistan, tomorrow in any of your countries”.

“We need to stop increasing carbon emission now and at the same time to mobilize much more resources to support countries that are required to be given resilience by creating conditions of resilience against the impact of these devastating disasters of climate change.

As a matter of justice the question of loss and damage should be discussed seriously in the next convention of state parties that has not until now discussed seriously in the international community, he said, adding that this is the time to mobilise support of everybody against climate change.

He said that allow me few words first to the people of Pakistan and then to the world and added that he was no stranger to Pakistan and had a love affair with the country since 17 years ago when he started working as High Commission for refugees. He added that he always witnessed enormous generosity receiving at that moment six million refugees and protecting and sharing meagre resources with them. “I have seen your generosity helping each other, helping families, community,” he further stated that when came in 2005 because of the earthquake and 2010 in floods and later on, when dramatic incursion of terrorists in Swat Valley and displacement of hundreds of thousands people.

The UN secretary-general stated that he knows what this means to the people of Pakistan, this unprecedented natural disaster. There is no memory anything similar to what has happened with this impact of climate change on Pakistan, he said, adding that he wanted to reassure the people of Pakistan that he would do everything possible to mobilise the international community to support Pakistani people in this dramatic situation. He said that it is beyond the numbers, numbers are appalling but he sees families that lost their loved ones, families that lost their houses and families who have lost their crops, jobs and living in desperate conditions at the present moment. He said that he has seen enormous efforts of response from civil servants from the government and from the army and from the NGOs as well as from the population.

Earlier, speaking, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif welcomed the UN secretary-general and his delegation and thanked them for coming to Pakistan to express solidarity with the people affected by the floods. He said that they are here to give the people of Pakistan a message at a time when the country is faced with the historic and devastating floods that affected them in all the provinces. The premier further stated the UN secretary-general is here to convey to the people that he not only stands with them at this difficult hour but would also use all the resources in his domain to provide relief to them.

The prime minister added that the UN Secretary General wanted to convey to the people that he would do whatever is possible for him for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of bridges and thousands of roads as well as transport and communication which has been destroyed by the floods.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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