New York, 29 September 2023 (TDI): The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres called for global support in the recovery of Pakistan from devastating floods in 2022, emphasizing the importance of addressing climate justice challenges.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Antonio Guterres highlighted Pakistan’s dual challenges.

He described it as a “double victim” of climate change and an unfair global financial system that hindered middle-income nations’ access to vital resources for adaptation and resilience.

Antonio Guterres also highlighted Pakistan’s minimal greenhouse gas emissions (less than 1%), contrasting with the alarming fact that its population faces a 15-fold higher risk of climate-related disaster fatalities compared to global averages.

Likewise, he emphasized that although rich nations pledged billions in the aftermath of the floods, the majority of the assistance came in the form of loans rather than direct aid.

This delay in funding was hampering the affected people’s ability to rebuild their lives, he noted. Moreover, in 2022, devastating floods, attributed to unprecedented monsoon rains and glacier melt, claimed over 1,700 lives and obliterated 2 million homes.

This compounded Pakistan’s existing economic woes, plunging approximately nine million additional citizens below the poverty threshold.

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The Pakistani government assessed the flood’s devastation at over $30 billion and sought international assistance. A donors conference in January, co-hosted by the UN and Pakistan, garnered approximately $10 billion in pledges.

However, UN Chief Guterres noted that only 69 percent of the target had been met, with a significant portion consisting of loans.

Pakistani Interim Prime Minister Anwar ul-Haq Kakar emphasized the government’s efforts to secure the $10 billion pledged by donors, with a focus on ensuring the funds are promptly allocated and utilized for the benefit of those impacted by the floods.

During his speech at the UNGA on Friday, Kakar highlighted Pakistan’s recovery plan, which carries an estimated price tag of $13 billion.

He also stressed Pakistan’s call for developed nations to fulfill their commitments of providing $100 billion annually in climate financing to less-developed countries.

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