Continued int’l support, solidarity vital for Pakistan to overcome flood’s devastating impact: Bilawal

ISLAMABAD, Sep 9 (APP): Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday said that despite government’s full engagement with rescue and relief efforts, continued international support, solidarity, and assistance was required for Pakistan to respond to the devastating impact of the floods.

The foreign minister, in a meeting with Administrator of United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power here, said he looked forward to Pakistan and US building extensive engagement on climate change and on tools of climate resilience.

While appreciating the USAID administrator’s visit to Pakistan at that difficult hour amid most severe floods in Pakistan’s history, the foreign minister welcomed US support and solidarity with the people of Pakistan.

He added that the ravaging floods had washed away entire villages affecting over 33 million people; death toll stood at 1300; four million acres of crops were destroyed; 800,000 livestock had been lost; and billions of dollars have been lost in critical infrastructure.

Foreign Minister Bilawal underscored that Pakistan was among the most severely affected countries due to climate change, especially with less than 1% carbon footprint.

He stressed that the developed countries must step up their climate ambition, including towards the provision of predictable climate finance for mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change in the developing world.

The foreign minister called for greater climate justice and hoped that the developed countries would take all those measures that would support developing countries deal with worst impacts of climate change.

Bilawal Bhutto thanked the USAID for providing financial assistance in the wake of floods.

He hoped that having witnessed the first-hand account of the devastation faced by the flood affected population, USAID Administrator Samantha Power would mobilize international community to come forward and support Pakistan in such trying times.

The foreign minister also underlined that the Government of Pakistan had instituted very transparent mechanism to ensure that international financial assistance was efficiently and transparently disbursed.

While expressing condolences and sympathies with the flood affected people, the USAID administrator affirmed that the US Administration would extend its full support to Pakistan to help mitigate the disastrous impacts of these floods.