ISLAMABAD     -    Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman yesterday said Pakistan has never seen a di­saster of such epic proportions in living history. 

“We must unite for Pakistan to deal with this cli­mate catastrophe, says Federal Minister for Climate Change...These are moments of extreme fragility for the country,” said the minister addressing the media in a press conference. Minister stressed, “This is an all-hands on deck crisis, and we cannot rest until the huge needs and relief gap on the ground is met. None of us are sleeping much because we are painfully aware of the anguish millions of our people are in,” she said adding that in such times of distress, there was a need to avoid the politics of polarization and division in a country under severe public stress.

“We are entering the 9th week of this flood ca­tastrophe, and it is devastation unlike we have ever seen before. Even despite a huge concerted relief effort, which was delayed because of the hard rain not letting helicopters take off, the affected popu­lation is well over 33 million,” she said, adding that they all need shelter, water to drink, hygiene kits and cooked food.We are grateful for civil society activists and philanthropists who are coming forth in big numbers now. We need everyone to help. About the climate situation, she said the rains in Sindh and Balochistan have surpassed 30-year av­erages and have taken more than 1191 lives, with well over 33 million severely affected. More than 5000 kms of roads and 243 bridges have been de­stroyed, and nearly a million homes have been fully or partially damaged. “The north too is badly af­fected, with the Indus rising via the Kabul River. The task of rebuilding in places has already begun, but it will be a mammoth task. If we are to build back better, it will honestly require more than the 10 billion USD that is being talked about,” he said, adding that Climate resilient infrastructure is ex­pensive, and requires scientific designing, with for­tifications to withstand climate shocks.