Pakistan floods: UN Chief appeals for massive support
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has appealed for massive support from the international community as Pakistan responds to the catastrophic effects of a flood disaster that both he and the government have blamed on climate change.
Guterres made the call as he arrived Pakistan on a two-day visit. He is due to meet Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and also tour affected areas during his visit.
“I appeal for massive support from the international community as Pakistan responds to this climate catastrophe,” Guterres said on arrival.
“This visit will make the world better understand the devastation caused by the floods,” Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said in a statement.
The United Nations has launched an appeal for $160 million in aid to help Pakistan cope with the disaster though Pakistan estimates the floods have caused losses of about $10 billion.
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In July and August, Pakistan got 391 mm (15.4 inches) of rain, or nearly 190% more than the 30-year average.
The southern province of Sindh has seen 466% more rain than average.
Record monsoon rains and glacier melt in northern mountains, have triggered floods that have swept away houses, roads, railway tracks, bridges, livestock, and crops, and killed more than 1,391 people.
Huge areas of the country are inundated and hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes. The government says the lives of nearly 33 million people have been disrupted.
The World Health Organization has said more than 6.4 million people need humanitarian support in flooded areas.