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UN chief Guterres visits flood-affected areas of Pakistan

KARACHI, Pakistan – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday toured Pakistan’s flood-ravaged Sindh and Baluchistan provinces a day after saying the world was obligated to provide “huge” relief to the land. this poor country.

Guterres is on the second day of a two-day visit to Pakistan, which has been ravaged by months of heavy monsoon rains and flooding. At least 1,396 people were killed, 12,728 injured and millions left homeless. The waters also destroyed road infrastructure and communications.

Guterres visited the flood-affected areas of Sukkur district in southern Sindh province and Osta Mohammad in southwestern Baluchistan province – one of the worst affected areas of the country.

“Pakistan today needs huge financial support to get through this crisis,” he said. “This is not a matter of generosity, this is a matter of justice.”

Miles of cotton, sugarcane, banana groves and vegetable fields in two provinces were submerged in floodwaters. Thousands of mud and brick houses lay under the flood that left people homeless and sheltering in tents along damaged roads.

Guterres’ comments came after he was briefed by Sindh provincial governor Murad Ali Shah about the devastation in his province. Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and several Cabinet members accompanied the highest-ranking UN official during his visit.

Pakistan has been hit by extreme monsoon rains since the beginning of this year – in mid-June. Experts have blamed global warming for the early onset and heavier-than-usual rains.

Guterres said: “Humanity went to war with nature and nature attacked back. “We need to stop the madness we’ve played with nature.”

Mr. Guterres expressed solidarity with the Pakistani people and said the UN would use its limited resources to help and asked “those who are able to support Pakistan, do it now and do it on a mass basis”.

So far, UN agencies and several countries have sent nearly 60 relief flights, and authorities say the United Arab Emirates is one of the generous contributors. most, sending 26 flights of relief goods to flood victims.

Since June, heavy rains and floods have added new levels of grief to cash-strapped Pakistan and highlighted the disproportionate impact of climate change on the poor.

Experts say Pakistan is responsible for only 0.4% of the world’s historic emissions attributed to climate change. The US is responsible for 21.5%, China for 16.5% and the European Union for 15%.

The UN chief also visited camps for displaced flood victims in Larkana district. Guterres was briefed by officials there about the situation and threat to the protected archaeological sites at Mohenjo Daro – one of the earliest ruins of human civilization.

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