Pakistan’s floods ‘huge catastrophe’, Masood Khan says, as he seeks help

Pakistan has taken steps to improve business environment: Amb. Masood Khan

WASHINGTON, Sep 05 (APP): Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Masood Khan, has described the unprecedented floods in Pakistan as a “huge catastrophe” that called for multiplying efforts inside the country and also by the international community to help the country cope with the adverse impacts of climate change.

“We have had some national disasters in the past and we’ve had developed an apparatus but this apparatus was inadequate for this kind of calamity,” he said on Fox News’ Sunday programme ‘On the Hill’.

Through its National Disaster Management Authority, the Pakistani Government – which has declared a national emergency – is leading the response in coordinating assessments and directing humanitarian relief to affected people.

Responding to a question, the Pakistani envoy thanked the United States for contributing $30 million in humanitarian assistance, saying, “We have received messages of solidarity and sympathy from the U.S. leadership, from civil society, and we do appreciate that.”

He said one-third of the country is under the water, with over 1,300 people dead and 33 million displaced. “The scale is so big we could not have prepared for it.”

“Right now, “the ambassador said, “it is assistance for relief and rescue” phase that has seen the establishment of air-bridges or air-corridors for receiving consignments for food, shelter, medicines and tents.

“These are the most urgent requirements that we need now,” he said. “We have to save lives and therefore anything that saves lives and gives shelter and gives support to these displaced persons” is welcome.

The USAID, he said, is on the ground and assessing the situation, and many philanthropic U.S. organizations are also sending humanitarian consignments to Pakistan.

“We are grateful to them.”