ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday urged the international community to extend maximum support for relief and rehabilitation of the flood-stricken people of Pakistan, assuring that every penny would be spent transparently.
The prime minister, in an interaction with the representatives of the foreign media, said, “I want to give my solemn pledge and solemn commitment” that every penny would be spent in a transparent manner.
“Every penny will reach the needy. There will be no wastage at all,” he assured the people of Pakistan as well as the donors.
He said the country was faced with the “worst” flood situation in its history that had killed over a thousand people including 300 children, injured thousands more, displaced more than a million people and killed above a million animals.
He recalled the international community’s generous support following the 2010 floods and expected a similar response in wake of the ongoing catastrophic situation.
He said thought the friendly countries had started sending relief supplies but “much more needed to be done” to overcome the situation. He said the UN Flash Appeal of $160 million and called for its multiplication to overcome the burgeoning needs.
The floods also washed away the standing crops, the prime minister said and sought the international community’s attention towards the current needs of the flood-hit population including potable water, tents, mosquito nets, and medical treatment.
Prime Minister Sharif said all including the federal and provincial governments, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), provincial disaster management authorities and Pakistan Army were in action for rescue and relief of the flood victims.
He said the relevant authorities were also actively engaged in repair of the road infrastructure as the flash floods had damaged thousands kilometer stretch of roads across the country. He said owing to the destruction of roads, Quetta had lost connectivity with Sindh.
He said the damaged road infrastructure also led to the impediments in supply of basic necessities to the flood-hit population. He said the pervading catastrophic flood situation also adversely impacted the economy, adding to the burden on the national kitty.
He said the government was scraping maximum resources for relief and rehabilitation of the people who were currently being provided with their immediate needs including shelter, tents, mosquito nets, potable water and medical treatment.
The prime minister told the media that the relief operation was going on across the country. Dozens of helicopters and boats were also in action to rescuing relocate the affected people besides supplying relief items.
“This needs to be done at a much bigger scale,” he remarked citing the magnitude of the challenge. He said a National Flood Response and Coordination Center had been constituted for an effective and speedy relief and rehabilitation operation and coordination with donor agencies.
To a question, the prime minister said the country had received three to four times more rains this year and assured that the government would redirect its development spending for the rehabilitation of the people.