GENEVA: The United Nations has revised up its humanitarian appeal for Pakistan five-fold to $816 million from $160 million as it seeks to control a surge in water-borne diseases following the country’s worst floods in decades, an official said on Monday.
Nearly 1,700 people have been killed in floods caused by heavy monsoon rains and melting glaciers in a crisis that the government and the UN have blamed on climate change.
“We are now entering a second wave of death and destruction” Julien Harneis, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Pakistan said at a Geneva briefing.
“There will be an increase in child morbidity and it will be pretty terrible unless we act rapidly to support the government in increasing the provision of health, nutrition and water and sanitation services across the affected areas,” he said. –Reuters
Ali Hussain from Islamabad adds: On the basis of an updated on-ground needs assessment of the floods situation in the country, an up-scaled Flash Appeal is being jointly launched by the government of Pakistan and the United Nations Tuesday (Oct 4) in Geneva, the Foreign Office said. The revised 2022 Pakistan Floods Response Plan would be shared at the event.
Ministerial level participation from the government of Pakistan will include Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman, attending the event in person in Geneva, and Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar participating virtually from Islamabad.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths and Director General World Health Organization Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will represent the UN, along with Resident Coordinator in Pakistan Julien Harneis.
The meeting will be attended by the UN Member States as well as various UN agencies and humanitarian organizations working in the area of disaster relief.
The Floods Response Plan has been prepared in close coordination between the government of Pakistan and the United Nations and focuses on providing necessary assistance to the vulnerable people affected by the unprecedented floods.
It complements the government’s overall response to the recent climate-induced floods in Pakistan, said a Foreign Office statement. Earlier on August 30, 2022, Pakistan, together with the UN launched a flash appeal of USD 160 million to help assist Pakistan’s flood victims. Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar told his weekly media briefing on Thursday last that so far 60 percent of the assistance has been materialised from the pledges that exceed the initial appeal.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022