UN chief arrives in Pakistan, asks world to massively help flood-hit people

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterresis currently in Pakistan on a two-day visit, 9-10 September 2022, to express solidarity with and seek the world’s assistance for, the flood-affected people of Pakistan. The UN chief also held meetings with the top officials of the country.

Guterres arrived at the Islamabad airport during the early hours of Friday where he was received by Minister of State Hina Rabbani Khar, said the Foreign Office’s statement.

UN Chief appeals to help flood-ravaged Pakistan:

Later in the day on Friday, the UN Secretary-General made a tweet from his official Twitter handle informing that he had arrived in Pakistan to express his support to the flood victims. On arrival, he appealed to the global community to provide assistance and relief to the country after the devastating floods which killed more than 1,300 people and displaced over 33 million others.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the world owes Pakistan “massive” help recovering from devastating floods because other nations have contributed more to the climate change thought to have triggered the disastrous floods.

“I appeal for massive support from the international community as Pakistan responds to this climate catastrophe,” he said.

Visit Agenda

According to the press release issued by the Foreign Office, the UN chief will carry out the following tasks during his solidarity visit:

  • Meet the Pakistani leadership and key officials to exchange views on the national and worldwide response to this calamity caused by climate change.
  • Visit the National Flood Response and Coordination Center (NFRCC)
  • Travel to areas most affected by the climate disaster including those in Sindh and Balochistan
  • Interact with the displaced families and first responders on ground
  • Inspect UN’s humanitarian response work in support of the government’s relief efforts for millions of the flood affectees.

Meeting with PM Shehbaz Sharif

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held a meeting with the UN chief to discuss the situation arising from the devastating floods in the country.

The discussion focused on mutual efforts to conduct relief, rescue, and rehabilitation at the global level to alleviate the sufferings of the flood victims.

“My voice is entirely at the service of Pakistan and its people. We know our contribution is limited […] but we are totally committed.” He said.

In his response, PM Shehbaz expressed his gratitude to the UN chief for making the visit, saying that his empathy and support were “great encouragement”.

“The government of Pakistan, along with the provincial governments and all stakeholders […] are working together to provide relief and rescue to millions,” he said.

The meeting was also attended by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, and senior officials of the government.

While attending a briefing at the National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) alongside the premier, the UN Chief commented that Pakistan has contributed the least to climate change while is currently one of the countries most affected by its disasters.

Let’s stop sleepwalking towards destruction

Previously, in a video message to a ceremony in Islamabad last week, the U.N. chief had issued a stern warning about the effects of climate change.

“Let’s stop sleepwalking toward the destruction of our planet by climate change,” he said, “Today, it’s Pakistan. Tomorrow, it could be your country.”

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