PM Shehbaz, UN chief and heads of state address International Conference on Resilient Pakistan in Geneva
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif again called on the world to help flood-ravaged Pakistan in his address at the International Conference on Resilient Pakistan co-hosted by the country with the United Nations in Geneva.
The international conference started with the words of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. This was followed by a speech by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres about Pakistan and its devastating floods.
Foreign Minister Bilawal will also chair two sessions of the conference in Geneva.
Pakistan shares a comprehensive post-disaster framework plan for recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction before development partners and friendly countries at the International Conference on Resilient Pakistan.
Prime Minister Shehbaz arrived in Geneva on Sunday evening along with his delegation.
Addressing the conference, the prime minister began by thanking the UN chief for his concern for the flood victims and for standing by Pakistan in its hour of need. “Your deep feelings for the people of Pakistan, the way you took this cause forward, spoke about the people’s miseries and problems and became a strong voice to articulate what they have been through this summer, will be forever remembered. of the people of Pakistan”. said the prime minister.
He also expressed his gratitude to the world leaders who participated in the conference.
“We are at a turning point in history. Events are moving faster than we can imagine. It is not only a quest of how to survive but to preserve our body, dignity and honor by moving forward with a sense of achievement,” said Prime Minister Shehbaz.
He said the worst floods affected at least 33 million people in Pakistan, killed 1,700 people, including children, and displaced eight million people. He said that one can go on with the records broken by this disaster, but that we are racing against time.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan is very grateful for the generous support provided by the UN, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank and others along with many friendly countries.
However, he said that the relief work is yet to end in areas of Sindh and Balochistan.
In Sindh, the flood waters are yet to be drained to reclaim agricultural lands, re-grow crops, build houses and restore services and institutes, he shared, adding that today’s case is an attempt to give the people of Pakistan another a chance to get back on his feet.
He said that last October, Pakistan prepared with its development partners a Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) that estimated the total destruction and economic losses from the floods at more than $30 billion, which is 8% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of Pakistan. pushed nine million people into abject poverty. He said that Pakistan has responded with courage to this disaster. “Despite our severe financial constraints, we have mobilized approximately $575 million for the emergency, including the UN appeal,” he said.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the scale of the resource gap to finance recovery from the crisis is so large that it has redefined the way we think about resilience.
He said that while working on the PDA, the Government of Pakistan prepared a comprehensive framework plan for recovery, rehabilitation and rebuilding with resilience.
He said the broad outlines of the plan were set out in the document to be presented at the next session of the conference
“The first part of the 4rf plan reflects the priorities for recovery and reconstruction, taking into account the minimum financing requirement of 16.3 billion dollars, half of which we covered from domestic resources and the other half with the help of development partners and friends “, said the prime minister. Sehbaz said.
He said the second part of the framework plan incorporates flood-resilient plans and infrastructure projects, such as the protection of key highways, railway networks and early warning systems and capacity building for rescue and relief in future disasters.
“Pakistan needs 8 billion in funding over the next three years to rebuild”
He said Pakistan’s financing gap for minimal recovery is $8 billion, which will be needed over the next few years.
“It is clear that Pakistan’s ability to recover from the colossal flood disaster to restore critical infrastructure and revive rapid economic growth will depend substantially on the speed of these actions,” the prime minister said.
He said that the most important link in this chain will be financial resources. If this gap continues to impede recovery and minimum resilience needs, the results will be too devastating to imagine, he added.
This conference is not only to help rebuild the lives and livelihoods of those affected by the global crisis, he said. In fact, it is about the solidarity and vision needed to ensure the world’s transition to a sustainable future, he said.