Pakistan Lacks Capacity To Cope With Climate Disaster Of The Century, Sherry Says

Pakistan Lacks Capacity To Cope With Climate Disaster Of The Century, Sherry Says
Pakistan and the United Nations (UN) on Tuesday launched a flash flood appeal topping US$800 million.

Simultaneous events were organised in Islamabad and Geneva on this account. Speaking on the occasion, Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman termed the recent floods as the "meta climate event of the century".

"The video shared ⁦at the flash appeal 2.0 is nothing like the the atlas of human suffering on ground. This is just a postcard from the edge of the precipice. 33 million is more than several countries put together. It is the meta climate event of the century," she said.

The climate change minister said resettling, feeding and sheltering those impacted was beyond the capacity, resources of any country. "To shelter, feed and resettle such large numbers is beyond the capacity, resources of any one country. We will need a new coalition of the willing to fight climate disasters. If it can be done for wars, it can be done to save lives."

All available resources were being devoted to relief activities she said but Pakistan was not in a position to buffer its people from the economic shock they had been hit with. "“We are moving every available resource to the flood relief effort, including climate resilience funds, and with debt payments looming, don’t have the resources to buffer our people from the exogenous economic shock they are hit with."

Economic Affairs Minister Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said rehabilitation work, when it starts will take years. He emphasised the need for the world to rise and take cognisance of climate change.

United Nations Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Under Secretary General Martin Griffiths said the people of Pakistan were bearing the brunt for global inaction on climate change. He said over two million families needed to be sheltered and provided basic necessities.

World Health Organisation (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom said the floods had left ten percent of the nation's health facilities damaged. He also brought attention to constrained medicine and medicinal supply stocks.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres appealed for “massive” assistance as he visited the calamity-hit Pakistan on a “solidarity visit” where damage from recent flooding has been pegged at a staggering US$30 billion earlier in September.

Casualties from the climate catastrophe have exceeded 1,400, according to Reuters. The United Nations had announced Guterres’ visit to flood-ravaged Pakistan to see “areas most impacted by this unprecedented climate catastrophe” in August end.  The UN top boss visited the country on what the international organisation billed as a “solidarity visit”.  UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Guterres was expected to arrive in Islamabad on September 9 and return to New York on September 11.

Guterres had earlier urged the international community to help Pakistan battle “epochal levels of rain and flooding”. In a video posted on his Twitter account, the UN chief launched a $160 million appeal to help the millions “shattered” by the devastating floods.

Superfloods had left the nation deluged, Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman had said earlier in August. All of south Pakistan had been inundated, she had said. The minister emphasised the need for a singular national focus in a tweet separately. This, according to the one-time journalist, was premised on resourcing, coordinating and providing relief to the millions affected.