Pakistan to present roadmap for post-flood rehabilitation: PM
Support for Pakistan has ebbed away – yet its deadly floodwaters have not: PM
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said a comprehensive roadmap for post-flood reconstruction and rehabilitation will be presented during International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan in Geneva.
The prime minister, in an article in a British newspaper, said the apocalyptic rains and floods that hit Pakistan last summer claimed 1,700 lives and left a swathe of territory the size of Switzerland under water and affected 33 million people – more people than live in most European countries.
The prime minister said international attention had receded, but the waters had not as large parts of Sindh and Balochistan provinces remain inundated. The number of food-insecure people in Pakistan has doubled to 14 million; another 9 million have been pushed into extreme poverty.
Mr Sharif said Pakistanis had responded to this latest calamity with exemplary resilience. Already facing severe economic headwinds, the government scrambled to generate funds enabling direct cash transfers of more than $250m (£200m) to more than 2 million households, he added.
“We are grateful to the international community and friends of Pakistan for their generosity in helping us to avoid the worst. While the World Health Organization had designated the situation as a high-level health emergency, the feared water-borne diseases and localised epidemics did not break out due to the efficient working of our vast network of medical camps. Similarly, we were able to restore the damaged communication networks between cities and villages very quickly.”
“Yet more than 2 million homes, 14,000km of roads and 23,000 schools and clinics have been destroyed. A post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA), carried out in collaboration with the World Bank and the EU, estimated that the damage caused by floods exceeded $30bn – a 10th of Pakistan’s entire GDP.”
The premier said he was conscious that the Geneva conference marks only the beginning of a long and arduous journey but a substantive outcome will reassure millions of imperilled people – who have already lost everything – that they have not been forgotten; that the international community will help them to rebuild their lives.
“It will also remind us that we are all – increasingly – at the mercy of forces of nature that do not respect borders and can only be tamed by joining hands. It is, therefore, my sincere hope that our gathering in Geneva comes to symbolise our common humanity and generosity of spirit – a source of hope for all people and countries who may face natural adversity in the future.”