At the International Conference on Climate-Resilient Pakistan, co-hosted by the Government of Pakistan and the United Nations, which took place today at the UN Office in Geneva, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for support to help Pakistan with a $16 billion rebuilding effort following devastating floods.
“This conference is focused on resilience, and I have seen resilience time and time again from the women and men of Pakistan. From enduring the scourge of natural disaster and terrorism to Pakistan’s long and proud history of welcoming, protecting and supporting millions of Afghan refugees currently living in Pakistan”, the UN Secretary-General said on the sidelines of the conference.
Catastrophic floods in September 2022 left 33 million Pakistanis affected and displaced 8 million, killing over 1,700 and injuring thousands, and destroying more than 2 million homes. The ferocity of the flowing water damaged over 8,000 km of roads, 3,000 km of railway track. This calamity has led to the complete collapse of health and education services in the most affected areas. Education has been disrupted for 2.6 million students.
According to Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, the country requires $8 billion from its global allies in the next three years to recover from the devastating floods.
“I have not seen in my entire lifetime this kind of devastation which has not only crippled our economy but has posed a challenge which Pakistan alone cannot negotiate with – 30 billion dollars as the loss to our economy”, he said.
Pakistan is the fifth most populous country in the world and responsible for less than one percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Yet it is one of the most vulnerable to the increasing number of extreme weather events. While Pakistan hasn’t recovered from losses during the flood, the country’s economy remains in turmoil.
“In addition to natural disasters, Pakistan is also a victim of the manmade disaster of a morally bankrupt global financial system. A system that denies middle-income countries debt relief and concessional financing to invest in resilience and recovery. And that must change”, said António Guterres.
Massive investments are now needed to supporting Pakistan to rebuild homes, buildings and infrastructure, to jump-start jobs and agriculture and to ensure access to technology and knowledge to help withstand future disasters.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif assured that “every penny will be spent in the most transparent fashion. I have put in place third party validation mechanisms so that every penny is accounted for and is invested in the interest of the needy and helpless people who have been badly affected by these ferocious floods”.
According to Antonio Guterres, countries on the frontlines of the climate crisis need massive support. Developed countries must deliver on their commitment to double adaptation finance, without delay.
“Today it’s Pakistan. Tomorrow it could be in your country. And I am deeply frustrated that global leaders are not giving this life-or-death emergency the action and investment it requires. Because words are not enough. Without action, climate catastrophe is coming for all of us”.
More information on: https://www.undp.org/international-conference-climate-resilient-pakistan
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