Coordinated efforts mitigated flood damages: Ahsan

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Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, Professor Ahsan Iqbal said here on Monday that coordinated efforts between federal, and provincial governments and all concerned institutions helped in mitigating flood damages.

Addressing the National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) function here, he said the flood damages could have been much more, however, the collaboration and coordinated efforts helped in evading the huge tragedy. Appreciating the NFRCC’s role, the minister said that the world was pleasantly surprised over how Pakistan handled such a huge calamity with less human loss. He said the capability and coordination for disaster management under the umbrella of NFRCC played a great role in helping the country to cope with the challenge.

“This shows the power of collaboration,” he said adding no matter how great a challenge, if we have the ability of collaborating, we can handle every challenge.

He said that the efforts of all three services, provinces, private sector, humanitarian organizations, civil society and friends of Pakistan were positively synergized and it had a huge impact in mitigating the losses.

He thanked all the concerned people on behalf of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for the hard work and efforts they had put in during the recent floods.

He said that NFRCC was created for the specific purpose of emergency response and it has successfully completed its mission and has now been dissolved.

However, the minister added, this does not mean the challenge has ended. He said challenges were still there however it would be dealt with a new format and institutional setting with provinces adding the relevant departments that would monitor all the rehabilitation and reconstruction effort that is going on.

The minister said that the government had prepared a framework for making Pakistan a climate-resilient country adding the framework would be presented before the international community.

He said, Pakistan’s economy, which was already struggling to survive, was inflicted losses of over $30 billion. However, he added, with the help of social support, the government managed to come out of the crisis mostly at its own resources. He said that Pakistan was the most vulnerable country facing climate change. He said its principle stand has been accepted internationally during the 27th United Nations Climate Change conference that the countries responsible for global warming should accept their responsibility and help the victim countries.