New York, 28 September 2023 (TDI): The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) held an informal meeting on Pakistan’s recent devastating floods at the UN headquarters in New York, on September 27.

The informal meeting was a briefing on the implementation of UNGA Resolution 77/1, on the world community to increase aid and keep up the political will to support the country’s recovery long-term. It was passed last year in October 2022.

It expressed solidarity and support for the government and the people of Pakistan, focusing on strengthening emergency relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and prevention in the wake of the recent devastating floods.

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, who saw some of the damage for himself during a visit to Pakistan in the wake of the August floods, was the keynote speaker at the meeting.

The President of the 193-member Assembly, Dennis Francis had opened the meeting. Senior representatives from the UN System followed this.

They also included the UN Development Programme Administrator, UN Children’s Fund Executive Director, and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Assistant Secretary-General.

Pakistan UN Ambassador Munir Akram also spoke at the event. The goal of the UNGA Resolution was to “sensitize the international community” to Pakistan’s needs for reconstruction & “mobilize effective, immediate, and adequate international support and assistance.”

Also read: Understanding Monsoon & its link to latest floods in Pakistan

Unprecedented floods in Pakistan impacted over 33 million people and caused the deaths of at least 1,700.

The floods displaced nearly 8 million people, with many of them still residing in tent cities and temporary housing.

Upon returning from Pakistan in August 2022, the UN Chief reminded the Assembly of the losses: more than 2 million dwellings were damaged or destroyed, and crops and animals were devastated.

At the time, he predicted that the destruction may make more than 15 million people poor.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister expressed optimism

Caretaker Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Jalil Abbas Jilani expressed optimism last week that the financial pledges made by various bilateral and multilateral donors to help Pakistan carry out reconstruction activities would soon materialize.

Months after a summit in Geneva jointly organized by Pakistan and the United Nations, he made these remarks.

The aim was to generate the funds needed for rebuilding homes, roads, and railway tracks that flash floods had washed away, submerging much of the country and displacing millions of people.

Estimates indicate that Pakistan needs $16.3 billion for rehabilitation efforts; at the event, attendees contributed nearly $9 billion.

The UN secretary-general visited Pakistan before the bill’s approval to assess the extent of the flood damage and highlighted that the nation had just witnessed “a monsoon on steroids” that had wreaked havoc in several of its southern provinces.

Also Read: Minister Rehman hosts Italian delegation to enhance Climate Resilience in Pakistan

Pakistan has subsequently made a request for the necessary international aid, pointing out that the world must work together to address the escalating problem of climate change.

It was also at the forefront of efforts to establish a loss and damages fund at COP27 (Climate Change Conference of the Parties) in Egypt.

This fund aims to assist nations facing the brunt of erratic weather patterns without contributing significantly to global warming.