United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres has said that Pakistan was one of the countries most severely affected by climate change despite its minimal contribution to the phenomenon.
“Pakistan has had little contribution to climate change but [it] is one of the most dramatically impacted by the consequences of climate change,” Guterres said.
Guterres during a briefing at the National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) alongside Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the Secretary General said that there was “no memory of anything similar to what has happened with the impact of climate change in Pakistan”.
Pakistan needs massive financial support
“The numbers are appalling. But beyond the numbers, I see the families that have lost their loved ones, houses, crops, jobs and are living in desperate conditions,” he expressed.
“Pakistan needs massive financial support to respond to this crisis as according to initial estimates the losses are around $30 billion,” observed Guterres.
“Effective solidarity and justice is shown by mobilising massive support,” the UN chief said.
Nature has attacked the wrong targets
“It is like nature has attacked the wrong targets. Those that are more responsible for climate change should have to face these kind of challenges,” he stated.
Guterres stressed that it is the international community’s obligation to drastically reduce emissions and support countries that need to invest in resilience and recovery.
“My voice is entirely at the service of Pakistan and its people. We know our contribution is limited […] but we are totally committed.”
Challenge is absolutely beyond human capacities, yet humans have to handle it and we are
Speaking at the briefing, PM Shehbaz Sharif said that the UN chief’s empathy and support was great encouragement for Pakistan, as he expressed gratitude towards the visiting dignitary.
“The government of Pakistan, along with the provincial governments and all stakeholders […] are working together to provide relief and rescue to millions,” the premier said.
PM Shehbaz said that efforts were underway and flood affectees were being moved to safer areas while also being provided food and shelter. “The challenge is absolutely beyond human capacity, yet humans have to handle it and so we are.”
UN chief in Pakistan on solidarity visit after catastrophic flooding
The prime minister had welcomed the UN secretary general as he arrived at the PM House along with his delegation.
Guterres arrived in the capital during the early hours of Friday. The secretary general had announced his plan for a solidarity trip to Pakistan soon after the launch of the $160 million UN Flash Appeal for helping the people most affected by the floods caused by what he had called “monsoon on steroids”.
He will be back in New York on September 11 where the 77th session of the UN General Assembly is starting on September 13.
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