ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif convened a meeting of select Islamabad-based Ambassadors, High Commissioners and other Senior Members of the Diplomatic Corps on Friday.
The purpose of the meeting was to brief on the situation resulting from flash floods across the Country.
While underscoring that the ongoing monsoon spell has caused unprecedented damage and devastation in Pakistan, the prime minister mentioned that not just Balochistan, Sindh and South Punjab, which were badly affected, the current spell of torrential rains had also led to flooding in the northern regions of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The prime minister added that more than 900 people including 300 children had lost their lives and 1,300 were injured, so far. He said that as per the initial damage assessment, the losses caused by the floods were comparable to those Pakistan suffered during the flash floods of 2010-11.
The meeting was attended by Ambassadors and High Commissioners of Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Kuwait, UAE, Turkiye, South Korea, USA, Germany and senior diplomats of Bahrain, European Union, France, Oman, Qatar, UK, and Saudi Arabia.
The Country Representative of World Food Programme (WFP) was also present in the meeting.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif underlined that 33 million people had been badly affected by the flash floods and torrential rainfalls.
While expressing his government’s firm resolve to overcome the deleterious impacts of the on-going floods in the country, the prime minister highlighted that he had already issued instructions to the federal and provincial governments to provide people with tents, drinking water, mosquito nets, food items, medicines and other equipment.
Shahbaz Sharif said that Pakistan’s carbon emission footprint was negligible but it was ranked at the 8th position among the Countries exposed to the horrors of climate change.
Noting that the climate change has made flooding worse, he emphasized rehabilitation and reconstruction of climate resilient infrastructure in Pakistan.
The prime minister mentioned that given the urgency of the challenge, the government has decided to reach out to the friendly Countries, donors and the international financial institutions for their continued cooperation at this difficult time.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Economic Affairs Division gave briefings about the current status of the flood situation including rescue, and relief efforts as well as the need for immediate assistance.
The Foreign Office and NDMA are closely working with the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Islamabad to launch a UN Flash Appeal on 30 August. Speaking on the occasion, foreign diplomats expressed condolences and sympathies to the people and the government of Pakistan on the loss of precious lives and damage to infrastructure in the floods.
They assured the government of Pakistan of their respective governments’ continued support to meet the requirements of the rescue and relief operations across the Country.
The Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman, the Minister for Economic Affairs Division Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, the Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail, the Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb, the Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, the Advisor to Prime Minister Ahad Cheema, SAPMs Syed Tariq Fatemi and Fahd Husain and other senior officials of the government attended the meeting.