ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: President Dr. Arif Alvi has underlined the need to ensure disaster risk reduction by adopting best practices, enhancing preparedness, and devising swift and prompt response mechanisms.
In his message on National Resilience Day, the president said that the 8th day of every October is an occasion to express our solidarity and sympathy with all those families who suffered from natural calamities of unprecedented magnitude.
President Arif Alvi said that it reminds us of the devastating earthquake of 2005 that wreaked havoc in Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
“We commemorate this occasion with a mission and commitment to advance national preparedness by improving and increasing the nation’s resilience to disasters,” he said.
The president said that the climate change phenomenon has yet again hit us very hard. Monsoon season, 2022 with over 190 percent more rainfall against past 30 years average across Pakistan and around 500 percent increased rainfall In Sindh and Balochistan provinces has caused massive inundation in Sindh and parts of Balochistan besides, hill torrents, flash floods in Punjab, KPK, Gilgit-Baltistan, and AJK.
This climate calamity has led to 1,695 unfortunate deaths and almost 13,000 persons injured, more than 02 million houses have been damaged besides causing severe damages to over four million acres of cropped area and critical infrastructure. Over 33 million people of Pakistan are affected and millions of people continue to be in need of humanitarian relief.
Pakistan has negligible contribution to climate change while it has become a foremost victim of the phenomenon.
The president said that despite being hit by multiple disasters of mega magnitude repeatedly since 2005, the people of Pakistan have exhibited courage, selflessness, spirit of sacrifice and resilience to withstand testing times.
President Arif Alvi said that the observance of this day as “National Resilience Day” is also an occasion for stock-taking and to reiterate our commitment to make greater efforts for preparing ourselves to face all such adversities.
The president said that the observance of National Resilience Day reminds us of the need to adopt best practices, implement desired policy actions and strategies aimed at resilience building of our nation.
Dr. Arif Alvi emphasized that the policy actions in Pakistan should address key sectors including resilient and safe development of infrastructure, enhance “Disaster Preparedness” along with other areas such as poverty alleviation, safer land use planning, building codes implementation, water resources management, sound agriculture practices, enhance forestation across Pakistan including coastal areas.
“In view of our vulnerabilities, I would urge all related federal and provincial stakeholders to create synergies in action to ensure disaster risk reduction, and preparedness, besides mounting swift and prompt response mechanisms,” he said.
“Most importantly, we must take care of vulnerable segments of our society including women, children, elderly people and people with disabilities in all our interventions,” he added.
The president also conveyed his appreciation of the invaluable support and assistance provided by the international community, civil society and private philanthropy to augment the national response efforts during the ongoing floods disaster.
“I would also like to urge the international community to provide all possible support to Pakistan to tackle the negative impacts of climate change phenomenon,” he said.
“I have firm belief that the People of Pakistan, like in the past, would continue to help their brothers and sisters in flood affected areas through generous contributions.”