| GEO Pakistan|
No country can deal with calamity of this proportion alone: President
| Updated at: 1759 PST, Sunday, August 15, 2010|
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday called for greater international support and assistance to cope with the gigantic task of relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims and mega programme of reconstruction of property and infrastructure damaged by the deadly floods.
The President said this during a meeting with the UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon, who called on him here at Aiwan-e-Sadr. The UN Secretary General was accompanied with Ambassador Vijay Nambiar, Sir John Holmes, Under Secretary General OCMA,Jean-Maurice Ripert, special envoy for Assistance to Pakistan and senior staff of the Secretary General.
Briefing media about the meeting, spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that the President briefed the UN Secretary General about the colossal damage to life, property, livestock and infrastructure as a result of the unprecedented floods in the history of Pakistan.
He said that the President informed the Secretary General that 71 districts throughout the country had been hit by floods including 24 in Khyber Pukhtoonkhwah, 19 in Sindh, 8 in Punjab, 7 in AJK, 7 in GB and 6 in Balochistan. Nearly 1400 people have been killed, Over 720,000 housed destroyed and over 1.2 million people adversely affected.
The extent of total damage to life, property, cattle head and infrastructure may be far more than what these initial estimates suggested and that no country can deal with a calamity of this proportion alone, the President added.
The President said that the Government and people of Pakistan are thankful to the UN for immediately appealing to the world community for nearly 460 million Dollars in emergency aid.
Zardari said that the challenge was so huge for any government or party to undertake on its own and added that it could be faced only with the rigorous efforts of the people of Pakistan, Pakistani community living abroad and the support and assistance of the international community and donor agencies.
Ban Ki Moon expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives and massive destruction of infrastructure and property in the floods in Pakistan. He said that UN would stand by the government and people of Pakistan in these critical times. He pledged continued support and assistance of the UN for the humanitarian relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims.
The spokesperson said that after meeting at the Presidency, President Zardari and UN Secretary-General together left for visit of the flood affected areas.
Farhatullah Babar said that the UN Secretary- General wishes to convey to the affected people the sympathies and support of the UN and the international community. He will also make preliminary assessment of the extent of damages in the areas that he will visit.
The President apprised the UN Secretary General that the government is vigorously working for an early completion of damage and need assessment so that all available resources could be mobilized in a more efficient manner to undertake reconstruction and rehabilitation.
He said that international bodies like the World Bank and ADB would also be approached for damage and need assessment which would be used for seeking assistance from the international community in the task of rehabilitation.
The President said that the floods brought widespread devastations to the already damaged economy as a result of the fight against terrorism and added that the government while harnessing indigenous resources also look forward to the international community for assistance.
Foreign Minister, Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Interior Minister, Senator Rehman Malik,Finance Minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Information Minister, Qamer Zaman Kaira,. M. Salman Faruqui, Secretary General to the President, Ms Farzana Raja, Chairperson BISP, Salman Bashir, foreign secretary, Abdullah Husain Haroon, Pakistanís permanent representative to UN, Lt. Gen (R) Nadeem Ahmad, Chairman NDMA, Spokesperson to the President former Senator Farhatullah Babar and other senior government officials were also present during the meeting.