Pakistan, UN launch flood response plan

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Urge int’l community to support flood devastated population

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan and the United Nations on Tuesday jointly launched “2022 Pakistan Floods Response Plan (FRP)” simultaneously in Islamabad and Geneva, urging the international community to support the government of Pakistan in scaling up and expanding its relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in the areas, recently lashed by record torrential rains and battered by historic monsoon deluge.

Addressing at the launch ceremony, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said Pakistan needed international community’s prompt and immediate support in stepping up and expanding its efforts to rebuilt and reconstruct the devastated areas and other critical infrastructure.

He stressed that the international community must share the responsibility of supporting those countries that had been facing the threats of global warming and climate change.

These international efforts would complement government of Pakistan’s efforts he said and urged the global community to fully back the flash appeal by contributing generously.

The foreign minister while explaining the magnitude of the disaster caused by floods, said the damages during the recent calamity exceeded the damages caused during 2010 floods.

He said Pakistan had been a ground zero for the century’s existential climate change and global warming threats as about 72 districts and 33 million population had been badly affected while more than 1000 lives were lost, hundreds of others were injured, besides millions of houses damaged, livestock and crops were wiped out.

Pakistan had been facing the direct consequences of global warming and in the frontline of such devastation wrought by the climatic changes, he added.

He said the disaster was colossal and the flood hit areas were lacking critical basics.

The current cycle of super flooding, the foreign minister said, they saw was a part of extreme weather patterns. Unprecedented levels of cloud bursts and torrential rains had triggered widespread devastation, urban flooding, river floods and landslides, resulting in the loss of human life, livelihoods and livestock.

Terming year’s super floods as a climate calamity induced destruction, he said “what we are facing today has been no above average monsoon. It is an entirely new level of climate-led catastrophe.”

The foreign minister said the rainfall in Pakistan since mid-June had been equivalent to three times the 30-year national average and the southern, central and northern regions of the country were worst affected.

Bilawal said millions were displaced who had been now spending days and nights, in camps, in the open skies, adding they were in dire need of clean drinking water, food and shelters.

The roads infrastructure had been damaged impeding their efforts to relocate and provide support to the flood-trapped people, he said, adding it was a national emergency and life defining moment.

The foreign minister said Pakistan required financial assistance besides, urgently needed shelters, food, non-food, and other basic items.

Recounting his personal experiences, the foreign minister said that he had seen pains and agonies in the eyes of affectees who had lost everything they once owned, and were uncertain about their future.