Govt, UN launch $816m fresh appeal for flood assistance

30

Pakistan ‘on the verge of a public health disaster’: WHO chief

Pakistan cannot afford to spend more on recovering from devastating floods blamed on climate change, Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman said on Tuesday, as she called for faster international help.

The UN revised up its humanitarian appeal for Pakistan five-fold, to $816 million from $160 million, as a surge of water-borne diseases and fear of growing hunger posed new dangers after weeks of unprecedented flooding.

Latest data and estimates show nearly 1,700 people have been killed in the floods and their aftermath caused by heavy monsoon rains and melting glaciers. Thousands more have been displaced and the UN has sounded the alarm on the rise of water-borne diseases in the country, particularly among the flood-hit population.

The government estimates the cost of the damage at $30 billion, and both the government and UN have blamed the catastrophe on climate change.

Speaking on the occasion, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organisation, told the meeting Pakistan was “on the verge of a public health disaster”.

Sheryy told the conference that the world was facing an “accelerated” global warming attack with great force. “It is becoming clear to all that this is the climate event of the century.”

She said that recent research had shown how millions had been affected at one time. “The scale of the catastrophe is more than existential. We are gathered here to reboot your compassion simply because the numbers are too staggering to serve any country alone,” Sheryy stressed.

“Imagine rescuing, feeding, sheltering, resettling, sometimes what feels like three countries — it’s beyond resources for many of us.

“Just to pick up the pieces, we will literally need a new coalition. It can be done to save lives. One-third of all reported deaths and injured are children. We are still in the longest rescue and relief, and life-saving phase crossing 16 nightmarish weeks,” the minister said.

 

Previous articleCJP describes Article 62(1)(f) as ‘draconian’
Next articleImran is a biggest liar on earth: PM Shehbaz