- Says there is second catastrophe in making in form of water borne diseases, health problems
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Thursday urged all politicians, lawmakers and government office holders to “pause politics during the current challenging times” and prioritise the rescue and rehabilitation of 33 million people affected by the floods.
In a press conference, he told all political parties that “now is not the time for politics”.
“Elections will keep taking place in future but we have 33 million people at stake right now, therefore our focus should be on them,” he said.
Bilawal urged the MPAs and MNAs of Sindh to visit inundated areas.
“At present, we have a second catastrophe in the making in form of water borne diseases and other kinds of health problems in the affected regions,” he said.
Citing that government institutions and civil society were working day and night for rescue and rehabilitation of flood affectees, he said “even if Pakistan had world-class hospitals, still we would not have been able to accommodate all patients because the scale of the diseases is massive."
He said that farmers suffered hefty losses due to crop destruction, and “the government will facilitate farmers in next season to help them recoup losses.”
“We will help end the economic challenges being faced by the farmers on the back of devastating rains,” he said. “To achieve this, we will bring everyone on one page.”
He also announced that the government was focusing on constructing resilient infrastructure to ensure that the country would be ready for floods in the future.
“We have to adapt to climate change through sustainable infrastructure development,” the foreign minister said.
Last week, Bilawal renewed call for urgent debt relief and aid to help Pakistan meet the unprecedented challenges posed by climate-induced flooding and said that the estimated damage from the floods may exceed $30 billion.
During a press conference in Washington, the foreign minister stated that the main purpose of his visit to the US was to get help for the flood victims in Pakistan.
The foreign minister, while underscoring the magnitude of damage in, saidwhatever is done for victims is not enough. The government and the opposition have to work together for the purpose.