UN chief Guterres visits flood-affected areas of Pakistan

UN chief Guterres visits flood-affected areas of Pakistan

KARACHI, Pakistan – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited the flood-affected Pakistani provinces of Sindh and Balochistan on Saturday the day after he said the world should provide “important” aid to the poor country.

Guterres was the second day of his two-day visit to Pakistan, devastated by months of heavy monsoon rains and floods. At least 1,396 people were killed, 12,728 injured and millions left homeless. The water also destroyed road and communication infrastructures.

Guterres visited the flood-affected area of ​​Sukkur district in the southern province of Sindh and Osta Mohammad in the southwestern province of Balochistan, the most affected areas in the country.

“Pakistan today needs major financial support to overcome this crisis,” he said. “It is not a question of generosity, it is a question of justice”.

Cotton and sugar cane crops, banana orchards and vegetable fields in two provinces were inundated by the floods. Thousands of brick and brick houses were swept away by the flood and people were left homeless and took refuge in tents on the damaged streets.

Guterres’ comments came after Sindh Prime Minister Murad Ali Shah briefed him on the devastation in his home state. During his visit, the senior United Nations official was accompanied by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and some members of his cabinet.

Pakistan was hit by extremely intense monsoon rains which began in mid-June earlier this year. Experts blame global warming because the rains start earlier and are stronger than usual.

“Humanity is at war with nature and nature will fight,” Guterres said. “We must stop the madness with which we play with nature.”

Expressing his solidarity with the Pakistani people, Guterres said he would use the limited resources of the United Nations to help and urged “those who have the capacity to support Pakistan to do so now and en masse”.

So far, UN agencies and several countries have sent aid with around 60 planes, and officials say the UAE is one of the most generous donors, sending 26 relief flights to flood victims.

Heavy rains and floods since June have added new levels of misery to cash-strapped Pakistan and highlighted the disproportionate impact of climate change on its poor population.

Experts say Pakistan is responsible for only 0.4% of the world’s historic emissions blamed for climate change. The US is responsible for 21.5%, China for 16.5% and the EU for 15%.

Source: Washington Post