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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has emphasised the need for continued support from the international community, in the construction and rehabilitation phase which will be announced formally by Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on October 24.

The international community has generously supported the relief and rescue operations. Now the government seeks their further support in the reconstruction and rehabilitation for the flood-affected people, said Federal Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Prof Ahsan Iqbal, while addressing a roundtable meeting through video link on the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) organised by the World Bank (WB) and the United Kingdom on the sidelines of the WB/IMF annual meetings held in the US.

The roundtable was attended by the Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Prof Iqbal, Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Chief Economist, Secretary Planning Commission and other key officials through video link while Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was physically present at the meeting in the US.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Iqbal highlighted the significance of a comprehensive post-damage and need assessment exercise which was completed in collaboration with the WB, the Asian Development Bank, European Union (EU), and the United Nations (UN). Iqbal, while highlighting the key policy imperatives for resilient and recovery plan has said that several initiatives have been taken which includes building back better, participatory and inclusive recovery plan and implementation and to prioritize people values. Similarly, during the roundtable, it was also highlighted that the focus of the infrastructure will be climate resilience as the calamity is the biggest threat and Pakistan is the victim.

Flood devastation: PM urges world to help rehabilitate 33m people

The minister informed participants that the devastating floods have adversely impacted about 33 million people and inundated 15 per cent of the country, causing major hardships in the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan.

“The rehabilitation plan needs to be implemented with the same spirit of rescue efforts and it is not possible without the support of the international community,” remarked the minister, while stating that the climate disaster has turned into hyper poverty and hyper malnutrition.

The minister further added that it is the time for the richest people of the world to help the poorest people of Pakistan who are the victims of the development of the advanced world.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in his address appreciated the international community for playing a vital role since the floods came on surface. However, he stressed to continue their support so that a rehabilitation plan could be executed. “I have no words to thank the international community especially, the WB for their generous support for the flood-affected people,” he concluded.

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