- PM Shehbaz highlights the significance of collaborative efforts to tackle climate change.
- The Premier calls Pakistan’s climate disaster “huge.”
- Pakistan deserves a lot of help, stated UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
SHEIKH SHAMAR PM Shehbaz Sharif underlined the significance of collaboration in solving climate change challenges on Monday.
The prime minister spoke during a joint news conference in Sharm Al Sheikh, Egypt, flanked by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, on the devastating climate-related floods in Pakistan.
PM Shehbaz appreciated the UN’s urgent needs, but said there was still work to be done in providing shelter and food for millions of people.
Millions of people in Pakistan are facing the winter without a place to live or a means of support, which violates their fundamental right. Women and children continue to look to us to address their needs, the prime minister said, adding that Pakistan is grateful to the UN and its development partners for their assistance throughout the country’s unique crisis.
The Premier described the harm caused by climate change in Pakistan as “huge,” which has exacerbated flooding-related issues such as stagnant water and waterborne infections.
According to PM Shehbaz, the nation’s recovery will be hampered by rising public debt, rising international energy prices, and a lack of practical access to adaptation funds.
The government has offered $316 million in emergency financial assistance to the most disadvantaged families, amounting to $113 each affected family. The prime minister went on to say that the gap is significantly wider and that it must be bridged sooner rather than later. We mobilized every available resource to the national relief effort and reallocated all budget priorities, including development monies, to the rescue and first-order needs of millions, he stated.
Pakistan Deserves Robust Help
In his remarks on the occasion, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated that Pakistan needs massive direct help from the international community for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of flood-affected areas.
Guterres stated that the loss and injury suffered by Pakistan should be taken into account as a fact and recognized through financial mechanisms in the hopes that the climate implementation conference will be able to resolve.
The UN Secretary-General stated in an appeal to international financial institutions and the G-20 nations to create conditions for debt relief mechanisms for middle-income countries affected by natural disasters that Pakistan should have access to effective debt relief and concessional funding to carry out the enormous task of reconstruction and rehabilitation.
Pakistan, as a middle-income country, has not reaped the benefits of debt relief to the level that it should have. According to Guterres, he has been recommending debt swaps for countries such as Pakistan so that monies can be given for post-natural disaster rehabilitation, recovery, and reconstruction.
The UN would stand behind Pakistan, the secretary-general said, expressing complete solidarity.
Guterres said that the UN is proud to be working with Pakistan on the international donor conference, where we will try to get a lot of help from the rest of the world to fix up and rebuild the areas that were hurt by the terrible events. He hoped that Pakistan would benefit from these changes.