UN forms inter-agency team to help Pakistan flood reconstruction efforts

UN secretary general urges the global community to provide debt relief, debt swap to Pakistan

Heeding to appeals from Islamabad, the United Nations on Monday announced to form an inter-agency body to aid Pakistan with reconstruction efforts following devastating floods while calling for providing debt relief and debt swap.

This was announced on Monday during a joint press stake out in Sharm El-Sheikh at the Climate Change Summit (COP27).

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said, “Pakistan needs more funds to recover from the losses inflicted by the floods.”

“The enormous task of rehabilitation and reconstruction would require substantial international support for Pakistan to build back greener, based on the model of sustainable development,” he said.

While raising his concerns over climate change and sustainability of vulnerable communities, he said that due to floods, the country’s roads and infrastructure was severely damaged and there is an outbreak of diseases in the flood-affected regions.“

He said the devastating floods had affected some 33 million people in Pakistan, destroying around 4,410 million acres of agricultural land.

“Around 4 million people are deprived from access to basic health facilities,” he added.

Pakistan, he said, had suffered losses worth around $32 billion. This was around a tenth of Pakistan’s GDP.

Moreover, he said, “216 million people will be displaced by 2050 if the issue of the climate change is not resolved,” while seeking debt relief and more funds to bear the loss of floods.“

PM Shehbaz expressed his appreciation for the creation of a UN inter agency team, led by the deputy secretary general, to help Pakistan prepare a comprehensive rehabilitation and reconstruction plan to be presented to the conference.

PM Shehbaz thanked the World Health Organization and other organizations who had supported Pakistan in such a difficult period.

He emphasized that addressing “loss and damage” would be a key “deliverable” at COP-27.

On the other hand, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also urged global lending organizations to provide relief and concessions pertaining to loans to Pakistan.

Shehabz emphasized that addressing “loss and damage” would be a key “deliverable” at COP-27.

“Floods destroyed sources of income and everything for people in Pakistan. Pakistan is looking forward for help. It is the responsibility of international community to play its role and provide assistance to get out of the difficult phase and circumstances,” Guterres said.

Antonio Guterres

PM Shehbaz Sharif

COP27

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