WASHINGTON     -    Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Masood Khan has de­scribed the unprecedented floods in Pakistan as a “huge catastrophe” that called for multiplying efforts inside the country and also by the international community to help the country cope with the adverse impacts of cli­mate change.

“We have had some na­tional disasters in the past and we’ve had developed an apparatus but this appara­tus was inadequate for this kind of calamity,” he said on Fox News’ Sunday pro­gramme ‘On the Hill’.

Through its National Di­saster Management Author­ity, the Pakistani Govern­ment – which has declared a national emergency – is leading the response in co­ordinating assessments and directing humanitarian re­lief to affected people.

Responding to a question, the Pakistani envoy thanked the United States for con­tributing $30 million in hu­manitarian assistance, say­ing, “We have received messages of solidarity and sympathy from the U.S. lead­ership, from civil society, and we do appreciate that.”

He said one-third of the country is under the water, with over 1,300 people dead and 33 million displaced. “The scale is so big we could not have prepared for it.”

“Right now, “the ambassa­dor said, “it is assistance for relief and rescue” phase that has seen the establishment of air-bridges or air-corridors for receiving consignments for food, shelter, medicines and tents. “These are the most urgent requirements that we need now,” he said. “We have to save lives and therefore anything that saves lives and gives shelter and gives support to these dis­placed persons” is welcome.

The USAID, he said, is on the ground and assessing the situation, and many philan­thropic U.S. organizations are also sending humanitari­an consignments to Pakistan. “We are grateful to them.”