A test for world compassion

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AN all important International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan to be co-chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is being held in Geneva today (Monday) which in fact will be a test case for the international community as to how much empathy and compassion they demonstrate for rebuilding the lives of millions of flood affected people in Pakistan.

The UN estimates that more than $16b is required to help Pakistan recover from last year’s devastating floods and to better resist the impact of climate change.

The way the UN and its Secretary General has strongly pleaded Pakistan’s case and now hosting a conference on this issue is really commendable.

As regards our government, it expects a long-term response from the world community and for this purpose will present a reconstruction and rehabilitation plan at the moot.

Soon after the floods, the way international community responded and poured in with humanitarian assistance was really welcoming but then its response to the UN flash appeal has not been as good as it should have been.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in a recent article published by The Guardian also expressed his dismay over receding world attention to the flood victims.

Indeed it is time for the world to express solidarity with flood affected people, many of whom are still living under open skies during tough winter season and awaiting reconstruction of their homes damaged by the calamity.

Along with this, we will have to build such an infrastructure that is immune from future disasters.

Given our negligible contributions to carbon emissions, the big industrialised nations have a special responsibility to extend support in a big manner.

Apart from financial assistance, these countries will also need to extend technical support and advice to Pakistan to build a resilient infrastructure.