Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari warned the country that recovering from climate-related disasters is a “long process” that cannot be accomplished in one or two conferences, as Pakistan and the United Nations co-host a conference in Geneva on Monday to mobilise international support for flood victims.
“We do not want to raise expectations. It’s not like we will go there and come up with a cure for all our problems,” Bilawal stated.
According to a UN report issued this week, in addition to the 33 million people affected by last summer’s devastating floods, an additional nine million people face poverty.
Mr. Bhutto-Zardari noted that flood waters have not yet receded in some areas. The most pressing needs, he said, were restoring agriculture and livelihoods, as well as rebuilding homes, schools, and hospitals.
According to him, the conference will bring together leaders from the public and private sectors to raise funds and enlist the assistance of other countries to assist communities affected by last year’s devastating floods.
He said: “It’s the start of a process Then we will go on the road, telling people how we want to build a climate-resilient Pakistan.”
He stated that Pakistan would contact anyone who could help.
“We will go to all, including international financial institutions. It’s a long-term thing, an uphill task.”
According to the foreign minister, the floods caused more than just a crisis.
He further stated:
“The floods also created an opportunity for us. The international media highlighted our problems, the UN secretary general got involved in the efforts to help us. Now, it’s up to us to take advantage of this and build a climate-resilient Pakistan.”