Saturday Dec 10, 2022
ISLAMABAD: The first meeting between a senior US diplomat and three senior ministers, after last month’s COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, regarding Pakistan‘s flood recovery measures took place this week in Islamabad, The News reported.
On December 8-9, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Elizabeth Horst visited Islamabad to discuss US support for Pakistan’s flood recovery with government leaders.
A spokesperson at the US Embassy said that Horst met with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister of Climate Change Sherry Rehman, Minister of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal, and Chief of Staff of the National Disaster Management Authority Brigadier Naik Nam.
The US says Horst’s visit and her discussions underscored the US government’s commitment to working with Pakistan to support its flood recovery measures, improve access to renewable power, respond to climate change, and address challenges that stand in the way of developing trade and investment between our countries.
Surprisingly, the Foreign Ministry did not issue a statement about the meeting. When asked about the details of the meeting between Minister of State Hina Rabbani Khar, and Horst, the office did not deny it.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not issue a press release or tweet on every meeting. The meeting you refer to was operational and was therefore not broadcast,” a Foreign Office spokeswoman responded to The News.
She added that the United States provided over $97 million to support flood relief, food security, and disaster preparedness in Pakistan in 2022.
Horst’s visit was part of a continuous effort to analyse more methods to help Pakistan’s flood retrieval and resilience, including through the US-Pakistan Green Alliance, added the spokesperson at the US Embassy.
"For 75 years, the United States has valued our long-standing bilateral partnership with Pakistan. As Pakistan continues to recover from the floods, our support for affected communities will remain steadfast."
Due to efforts by the countries affected by climate change, the establishment of a fund was announced at the COP27 moot in Egypt last month.
The dedicated “Fund for Loss and Damage” will address losses and damages in developing countries, such as Pakistan, which were particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.
Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman, who had been instrumental in the dialogue process at COP27, said resilience was key to a sustainable future and trajectory to growth.
She said the concerted public advocacy led to the agreement, adding that it was all about climate justice, not charity as the developing countries lacked resources to deal with the climate change-induced disasters.
The minister added that resilience was also a race against time, citing the seriousness of the situation caused by climate change in form of artificial lakes and flood-caused destruction.