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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Pakistan asks for urgent global aid to cope with flood


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United Nations: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has called for international support to deal with the consequences of an apocalyptic flooding crisis in his country.

“No words can describe the shock we are living through or how the face of the country lies transformed,” Sharif said at the general debate of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly on Friday.

“For 40 days and 40 nights a biblical flood poured down on us, smashing centuries of weather records, challenging everything we knew about disaster, and how to manage it,” he said.

According to the UN, approximately 8 million people have been displaced by the disaster, which continues to reach affected populations with desperately needed relief items.

More than 1,500 people have been killed, including 552 children.

It is estimated that 33 million people are now at risk of health hazards, 13,000 km of roads have been damaged, 1 million homes destroyed, and another million damaged. A further 4 million acres of crops have been destroyed, too.

“Pakistan has never seen a starker and more devastating example of the impact of global warming,” Sharif said. “Life in Pakistan has changed forever.”

On his visit to the country earlier this month, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he had never seen “climate carnage on this scale,” and called for urgent financial support to help Pakistan, saying it is not just a question of solidarity but a question of justice.

Currently, the priority is to ensure rapid economic growth and lift millions of people out of destitution, which requires a stable external environment, said Sharif.

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