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Pakistan needs about $30 billion in aid to repair the damage caused by the devastating floods that have hit the country in recent months. This says UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. He traveled to Pakistan to see the damage with his own eyes.
Pakistan has been plagued by floods caused by torrential rains since June. According to the authorities, more than four million fields were destroyed by rainwater, and the damages amounted to more than $30 billion. A third of the country is under water and thousands of kilometers of roads have been destroyed, as well as bridges, schools and hospitals.
More than three million people have been affected, and at least a thousand have died.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said his country needs an “unlimited” amount of aid. “Without international support, Pakistan will remain in trouble,” he added. Guterres supports Sharif and makes a similar call to the whole world to support Pakistan in what he calls a “climate disaster”.
Pakistani authorities say the country is suffering from the effects of extreme weather events caused by climate change from western countries. “We hope that the visit to the United Nations will help show the world how Pakistan is one of the ten most vulnerable countries in the world, while contributing less than 1% to global emissions,” Pakistani Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb said.
Experts say Pakistan is responsible for 0.4 percent of emissions contributing to climate change, compared to the United States at 21.5 percent, China at 16.5 percent, and the European Union at 15 percent.
UN Secretary-General Guterres also warned in a letter last week of the consequences of climate change, referring to the floods in Pakistan. “Let’s stop sleepwalking,” he said in a video message. “Today is Pakistan, and tomorrow may be your country.”
So far, several countries have sent nearly 60 aircraft to Pakistan with emergency aid. The United Arab Emirates is one of the most generous donors, with 26 emergency aid planes. The United States also helps.
According to Pakistani officials, the United States is establishing an airlift for humanitarian aid. The first plane will arrive today.
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