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Pakistan government sets up national disaster agency to tackle devastation caused by unprecedented floods

The country-wide death toll has touched 1,136 as of Monday, with over 1,634 injured and 33 million displaced, according to the latest data issued by the National Disaster Management Authority, the chief national body tasked to deal with calamities.

August 30, 2022 / 02:15 PM IST

"33 million have been affected, in different ways; the final homeless figure is being assessed," Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman told Reuters in a text message. She added that the southern province of Sindh, hardest hit in the last few days, had requested 1 million tents for affected people. (Source: Reuters)

Pakistan government has set up a nodal disaster agency to provide an institutional response to the devastating floods caused by record monsoon rains that has displaced more than 33 million or one-seventh of the country's population.

The country-wide death toll has touched 1,136 as of Monday, with over 1,634 injured and 33 million displaced, according to the latest data issued by the National Disaster Management Authority, the chief national body tasked to deal with calamities.

Pakistan's Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said on Tuesday that the country would need more than USD 10 billion to rebuild the infrastructure devastated by the raging floods, which roughly translates to 3 per cent of the country's GDP.

The Shehbaz Sharif-led federal government on Monday set up the National Flood Response and Coordination Centre, which will comprise federal ministers, representatives of armed forces, chief ministers and experts to provide proper institutional response to the calamity.

The Centre will serve as a bridge between disaster management authorities, donors and government institutions. It will collect and analyse latest information and pass it on to the relevant government agencies. It will also oversee rescue and relief work including restoration of infrastructure, the PM Office tweeted after the meeting.

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The move comes as the "2022 Pakistan Floods Response Plan (FRP)" is being jointly launched by the Pakistan government and the United Nations on Tuesday, simultaneously in Islamabad and Geneva.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will deliver the keynote address at the launch event, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, followed by a video message from the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, according to the Foreign Office.

The launch event will be attended by all UN Member States as well as various humanitarian organisations working in the area of disaster relief. The FRP will complement Pakistan government's overall humanitarian response to the recent floods caused by unprecedented rains in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, aid continued to pour in as Canada announced aid worth USD 5 million, while the Chinese government has pledged 100 million yuan to the Pakistan government. After Queen Elizabeth, her son Prince Charles on Monday extended his heartfelt condolences.

In a message to the President of Pakistan, Prince Charles said, My wife and I are deeply saddened by the devastation caused by the recent floods in Pakistan. Our hearts go out to all the victims and their loved ones and to the millions of people who have lost property and their livelihoods.

Heavy water flow downstream from the rivers in the north is threatening to burst the banks of the Indus river in Sindh province, the Express Tribune reported.

Sindh province continues to reel under the onslaught of torrential rains as acres of fertile farmlands have been washed away, suffering damages to the tune of USD 1.6 billion, according to the Dawn newspaper.
PTI
first published: Aug 30, 2022 02:15 pm
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