Bilawal seeks world’s full backing
By Ijaz Kakakhel Islamabad
Government of Pakistan and the United Nations (UN) on Tuesday have jointly launched Flood Response Plan 2022 to meet the needs of flood-affected people.
Speaking on the occasion, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari urged the international community to give its full backing to the flash appeal to help the people of Pakistan most in need.
He encouraged them to contribute generously towards meeting the funding requirements of this response plan.
The Foreign Minister said the appeal prioritizes focused interventions in areas of education, food security, agriculture, health, nutrition, protection, shelter and non-food items, water, sanitation and hygiene.
He said Pakistan also needs assistance with livelihoods and livestock support as ter, tents and mosquito nets if they can be arranged.
We will need support for reconstruction and rehabilitation of flood-affected areas. Referring to the devastation caused by the floods on a large scale, the Foreign Minister said the international community’s support and solidarity with Pakistan at this time will go a long way in alleviating the sufferings of flood-affected people and rebuilding their lives.
In a video message, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that Pakistan was awash in suffering.
“The Pakistani people are facing a monsoon on steroids — the relentless impact of epochal levels of rain and flooding.
” The UN chief noted that over 1,000 have been killed so far in what he called a “climate catastrophe.”
His statement came as Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and the UN jointly launched “2022 Pakistan Floods Response Plan (FRP)” simultaneously in Islamabad and Geneva today, urging the international community to support the government of Pakistan in scaling up and expanding its relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction of areas battered by historic monsoon deluge.
Addressing the ceremony, Bilawal said Pakistan need the international community’s prompt and immediate support in stepping up and expanding its efforts to rebuild and reconstruct the devastated areas and other infrastructure.
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 the 2010 floods.
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, shows 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.
The FRP focuses on the needs of 5.2 million people, with life-saving response activities amounting to US$ 160.3 million covering food security, assistance for agriculture and livestock, shelter and non-food items, nutrition programs, primary health services, protection, water and sanitation, women’s health, and education support, as well as shelter for displaced people.
The FRP highlights the main humanitarian needs, the efforts and steps taken by the Government of Pakistan to handle these challenges in collaboration with the UN and other partners, and sets out a well-coordinated and inclusive plan of action to respond to the needs of the affected people.
The FRP is holistic, with a multi-sectoral approach covering the thematic clusters of food security and agriculture, health, nutrition, education, protection, shelter and non-food items, water, sanitation and hygiene.
Moreover, Pakistan continues to host more than 3 million Afghans with generosity and compassion, and like previous occasions, the at least 421,000 refugees living in flood-affected areas are included in the FRP.
The Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal highlighted that “Pakistan being a negligible contributor to the overall carbon footprint, is still among the top ten countries that are vulnerable to climate change, and with extreme weather events which we have experienced from earlier this year like the heat waves, forest fires, multiple glacial lake-outburst-floods and now these disastrous monsoon floods.
The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Julien Harneis said: “This super flood is driven by climate change – the causes are international and so the response calls for international solidarity.
” He further added, “Across Pakistan, I have seen government workers, ordinary people, out in the rain and water, saving lives and giving the little they have to those who have lost everything.
We, in the international community, need to step up and stand with the people of Pakistan. This appeal is the absolute minimum we need from the international community for life saving assistance and services.
The people of Pakistan deserve our support.” Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lieutenant General Akhtar Nawaz gave a detailed briefing on the current humanitarian situation and efforts of the Government of Pakistan, supported by humanitarian partners in carrying out rescue and relief operations.
Mr. Xavier Castellanos Mosquera, Under-Secretary General for National Society Development and Operations Coordination, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said, “IFRC is committed to assisting the affected communities in these unprecedented floods in Pakistan.
Together with Pakistan Red Crescent, we have launched an initial emergency appeal though which we are seeking funds to assist 324,000 people in Health, Safe drinking water, Emergency Shelter, and Livelihoods.
The IFRC is working together with the Government of Pakistan and the UN agencies to have a coordinated response to ensure we reach the most vulnerable and affected populations, providing access to basic necessities to all”.
Mr.Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees shared that “today, the international community – including my own agency – must help the people in need in Pakistan.
We urgently need global support and solidarity for Pakistan”. The launch event was well attended by the Diplomatic Corps both in Islamabad and Geneva, heads of UN agencies in Pakistan, representatives of international organizations, IFIs, civil society and media.