Pakistan urges world for sustained and long-term support at this critical time.

ISLAMABAD   -    The United Nations yesterday launched a fresh appeal of more than $800 million for Pakistan for the millions of flood affectees in the country. Ceremonies to this effect were simultaneously held in Islamabad and Geneva. In his speech, UN’s Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths said the people of Pakistan are bearing the brunt of the world’s inaction to face climate change or prepare for its consequences. He said Pakistan had not caused this crisis for which they are undeserving victims. “We need to deliver shelter and essential household items to over two million families,” he added. Griffiths emphasised for standing with Pakistan at this difficult hour. World Health Organisation (WHO) Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom gave an update on the health situation in the flood affected areas. He said floods approximately damaged ten percent of country’s health facilities, severely limiting stocks of medicines and medical supplies. He said we must move together to support Pakistan. Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman highlighted the steps taken by Pakistan for the rescue and relief of flood affected people. She said floods pose complex challenges and it is a long relentless struggle. She said we are moving every available resource toward life-saving efforts. She demanded the world community to establish a coalition of the willing to support flood relief efforts in Pakistan caused due to gigantic natural catastrophe. She said: “We have been working round the clock, flat out through the aftershocks and still continue, but just to pick up the pieces honestly, we will literally need a new coalition of the willing as it can be done for the wars so it can be done to save lives.” The minister underlined that in the monstrous downpour that inundated more than one third of her country approximately 1,700 people had lost their lives that was still rising, adding, “ And close to 13,000 are injured, 7.9 million still displaced whereas women and children make up 70percent of the total 33 million affected population.” The Climate Change minister mentioned that one third of all recorded deaths and injuries were children, however, the country was still in the longest rescue, relief and life saving phase crossing 16 nightmarish weeks. “But this is climate change, making landfall in a country with almost no carbon footprint, and as you saw, we are responsible for less than one percent global greenhouse gas emissions,” she added. While comparing the scale of devastation of floods, she said 33 million people were affected; seven million more than the entire population of Australia. “Imagine rescuing, feeding, sheltering and resettling. It is beyond the available resources in many ways for any of us,” she added. The minister told the gathering that almost, 34 districts were still crisis affected with 46,000 square kilometres, 16 weeks later in flood conditions. “The affected population in these districts is again more than the size of Portugal and Switzerland’s population combined,” she maintained. She mentioned that with 11 districts still under water it was quite surreal to see Pakistan Navy deployed in inland terrain to serve those who have survived.