The flash appeal was jointly launched by the government of Pakistan and the UN and the ceremonies were simultaneously held in Islamabad and Geneva.
The ministerial-level participation from the Pakistan government included Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman, attending the event in person in Geneva and Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar who participated virtually from Islamabad.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths and Director General World Health Organization Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus represented the UN, along with Resident Coordinator in Pakistan Julien Harneis.
The meeting was attended by UN member states as well as various UN agencies and humanitarian organizations working in the area of disaster relief.
In her remarks, Khar called on the need for comprehensive plans to equip the people in Pakistan to survive the disaster of floods and also to help them cope with future impacts of climate change.
She said it was the collective responsibility of Pakistan and the world to provide assistance to the people affected by the country’s massive flash floods. She mentioned the “resilience and endurance” of the people in the flood-hit areas and said that efforts needed to be converged on their rehabilitation.
Sadiq emphasised the need for “sustained and long-term support” from the world community to help Pakistan recover from the climate-induced calamity. He remarked that Pakistan is not responsible for this climate catastrophe, urging the world to “wake up and step up efforts”.
He said that relief efforts are ongoing in flood-affected areas. When the water recedes, the rehabilitation work will begin, he added, “which cannot be finished in months but will take years”.
He thanked those who extended support to Pakistan in this difficult hour, aiding Pakistan to cope with the disaster and save precious lives.
Griffiths remarked that “the people of Pakistan are bearing the brunt of the world’s inaction to face climate change or prepare for its consequences,” referring to them as “undeserving victims”.
He emphasised the need to stand with Pakistan at this difficult hour, stating that over two million families are in need of shelter and essential household items.
In his update on the health situation in the flood-affected areas, Dr Adhanom said that floods have damaged about 10% of the country’s health facilities. Stocks of medicines and medical supplies are limited or have been washed away.
Rehman highlighted the steps Pakistan has taken for the rescue and relief of flood victims. She said floods pose “complex challenges” and it is a “long, relentless struggle” but they are utilising every available resource toward life-saving efforts.