The head of the United Nations appeals to the world to help Pakistan badly affected by the floods

The head of the United Nations appeals to the world to help Pakistan badly affected by the floods

The head of the United Nations appeals to the world to help Pakistan badly affected by the floods

ISLAMABAD (AP) – UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appealed to the world to help Pakistan after arriving in the country on Friday to see the damage caused by record flooding that killed hundreds of people and left more than half. million homeless people living in tents under the open sky.

His trip comes less than two weeks after Guterres asked for $ 160 million in emergency funding to help those affected by the monsoon rains and floods that caused at least $ 10 billion in damage and 1,391 deaths.

“I arrived in Pakistan to express my deep solidarity with the Pakistani people after the devastating floods present here. I call for massive support from the international community as Pakistan responds to this climate catastrophe, “he said on Twitter before dawn.

Last week, the UN chief issued a stern warning about the effects of climate change.

“Let’s stop walking in sleep towards the destruction of our planet due to climate change,” he said in a video message at a ceremony in Islamabad at the time. “Today is Pakistan. Tomorrow it could be your country. “

So far, UN agencies and several countries have sent dozens of planes loaded with aid. The United States has said it will provide $ 30 million in assistance to help flood victims.

Floods have affected all of Pakistan and affected more than 3.3 million people. Heritage sites have also been damaged, including Mohenjo Daro, considered to be one of the best-preserved ancient urban settlements in South Asia.

The ruins near the Indus River were discovered in 1922 and even today the mystery surrounds the disappearance of the civilization that dates back to 4,500 years ago, coinciding with those of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Mohenjo Daro is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the United Nations Heritage Agency announced an emergency amount of $ 350,000 on Thursday to help restore flood-damaged cultural heritage sites.

Guterres was received on his arrival by Deputy Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and will meet Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and other government and military officials during his visit.

Ahead of the UN chief’s arrival, Sharif told a visiting American diplomat that the world should step up its fight against climate change to avoid more deadly floods. Derek Chollet, a senior State Department official, was visiting Islamabad to assess the damage and organize aid.

According to the government statement, Chollet said the United States would stand by Pakistan in the wake of the floods and offer help to help people rebuild.

On Friday, the first American plane carrying aid will arrive in Pakistan, according to Pakistani officials, who say Washington is setting up a humanitarian aid airlift to provide much-needed flood victims.

Since June, heavy rains and floods have added new burdens to cash-strapped Pakistan and highlighted the disproportionate effect of climate change on poor populations. Experts say Pakistan is responsible for only 0.4% of the world’s historic emissions blamed for climate change. The United States is responsible for 21.5%, China for 16.5% and the EU for 15%.

Floods in Pakistan also injured 12,722 people, destroyed thousands of miles of roads, knocked down bridges and damaged schools and hospitals, according to the National Disaster Management Agency.

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