As he considered the problem that Pakistan’s disastrous floods last year brought upon the nation, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stated on Monday that “the one thing we have learned is that nothing can go back to business as usual.”
High-level participants from dozens of nations, including numerous heads of state and government, have assembled for the day-long event. Although it wasn’t precisely a pledge conference, UN and Pakistani authorities have stated that it was intended to mobilize help as the nation rebuilds following the floods, which claimed more than 1,700 lives and impacted over 30 million others.
PM Shehbaz thanked everyone who came, especially the UN Secretary-General for co-chairing the meeting with him, and expressed his “deep thanks” for their attendance. He also reminded everyone present that financial help was “the most crucial link” in Pakistan’s uplift.
When discussing the extent of the damage the nation has endured, the PM stated that “several sections of Sindh and Balochistan still remain under water.” The floods, which were attributed to climate change, severely harmed Pakistan’s already fragile economy while uprooting almost 8 million people and claiming at least 1,700 lives.
“Last October, in collaboration with our development partners we developed a post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA) that calculated the total destruction and economic losses from the floods to exceed $30 billion which is 8 percent of Pakistan’s GDP, pushing 9 million people into abject poverty,” he said.
“The Pakistani nation as well as the government has responded courageously to this catastrophe,” he added, “those who had little came forward to help those who had lost everything”.
“Millions volunteered to feed, clothe and shelter their unfortunate brothers and sisters,” said PM Shehbaz as he also noted the “wonderful contributions” of friendly countries.
“The one thing we have learned is that nothing can go back to business as usual,” the PM stressed, “tough choices will continue to be made and I am painfully aware that a taxonomy of harder and harsher reforms will make lives on the Pakistan streets and villages harder than ever before”.
However, the scale of the financial deficit for disaster recovery is so great that it has fundamentally altered how we view resilience, he continued, adding that it has altered life in every way.
According to PM Shehbaz, Pakistan has established a foundation for its development. He also stated that the nation needs at least $16.3 billion to reconstruct and restore thousands of families and lives.
According to PM Shehbaz, Pakistan needs $8 billion from its allies over the course of the following three years to reconstruct the nation, which is still recovering from last year’s disastrous floods.
The results could be too devastating to contemplate, the PM said, “if that gap continues to block our recovery and minimal resilience needs.”
The summit, according to PM Shehbaz, is a chance for the entire world to demonstrate its comradery and dedication to constructing a sustainable future. Pakistan needs a new coalition of the willing: one that can save lives and set people on a path to responsible global citizenship, he continued. “I know these are times of severe pressure and economic distress in many countries,” he said.
The world community’s joining together was hailed by FM Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who also expressed his gratitude for their assistance in helping Pakistan deal with the emergency situation brought on by disastrous floods.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Bilawal urged unity to help Pakistan attain a “resilient” future, stating that “we would require tremendous support” from the international community.
The FM said that rehabilitation “continues to this day” as Pakistan battles with wide-scale destruction brought on by the environmental catastrophe.
In his remarks, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hailed Pakistan for its perseverance and stated that during his tour there, he had seen the effects of the excessive rains in flood-affected areas.
The generosity of the Pakistani people has shone through even the darkest times, according to Guterres. “I have seen neighbors helping neighbors with food, water, and shelter,” he remarked.
“My heart ached after witnessing the flood devastation from last summer firsthand. The FM stated that recovery “continues to this day” as Pakistan struggles with widespread environmental catastrophe-related destruction.