The International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan — co-hosted by Pakistan and the United Nations — began in Geneva on Monday.

The international conference began with the words of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who said, “We will need considerable support” from the international community,” as he sought solidarity to help Pakistan achieve a “resilient” future.

The FM said that rehabilitation “continues to this day” as Pakistan battles with wide-scale destruction brought on by the environmental catastrophe.


United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Monday appealed to the world to help Pakistan deal with the disaster caused by floods, saying “massive investments” are needed for the country’s rehabilitation which is expected to cost more than $16 billion.

“Even through the darkest moments, the giving spirit of the Pakistani people has shone brightly,” said Guterres, “I have seen neighbours helping neighbours with food, water and shelter”.

The UN head stated that his heart broke when he saw first-hand the active devastation of last summer’s floods. “No country deserves to endure what happened to Pakistan, but it was especially bitter to watch that country’s generous spirit being repaid with a climate disaster of monumental scale,” he said.

Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif again called on the world to help flood-ravaged Pakistan in his address at the International Conference on Resilient Pakistan.

PM Shehbaz said that the world was standing at a “turning point of history” today.

“One can go on and on but to truly say, we are racing against time. We are thankful for the support extended to us by the Asian Development Bank, UN, International Monetary Fund and several other international organisations.”

At the moot, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also launched the ‘Resilient Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Recons­truction Framework’ (4RF).

The framework outlines a vision for rehabilitation and reconstruction of the flood-affected areas as well as will emphasise the need for global support and long-term partnership to implement it.

“The first part of the 4rf plan reflects the priorities for recovery and reconstruction, bearing in mind the minimum funding requirement of $16.3 billion, half of which we met from domestic resources and the remaining half with the help of development partners and friends,” PM Shehbaz said.

He said that the second part of the framework plan incorporates flood-resilient designs and infrastructure projects such as protecting key highways, railway line networks and early warning systems and capacity building for rescue and relief for future disasters.

The PM while sharing details of the scale of destruction the country has suffered said that “various parts of Sindh and Balochistan still remain under water”.

The floods, blamed on climate change, dealt a severe blow to Pakistan’s strained economy while displacing some 8 million people and killing at least 1,700.

PM Shehbaz stressed that he was asking for support for those who have lost their life savings, homes, and livelihoods and are facing the harsh winter under open skies.

“The one thing we have learned is that nothing can go back to business as usual,” the PM stressed.

“I am asking for a sustained international support plan to meet this daunting challenge, for a new lifeline for these people. Together we have to rebuild their lives and their dreams,” he concluded.

French President Emmanuel Macron, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store and President European Commission Ursula von der Leyen shared messages of solidarity at the event via video link.