News / Asia

    Pakistani Envoy: Billions Needed to Rebuild After Floods

    Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations Office in Geneva, Ambassador Zamir Akram gestures during a press conference focusing on recent flooding in Pakistan, 17 Aug 2010
    Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations Office in Geneva, Ambassador Zamir Akram gestures during a press conference focusing on recent flooding in Pakistan, 17 Aug 2010

    Pakistan's ambassador to the United Nations, speaking in Geneva, says billions of dollars will be needed to rehabilitate and reconstruct Pakistan, which has been devastated by the worst floods in more than a generation.  The ambassador is pleading for greater support from the international community to answer the desperate needs of more than 20 million flood victims, many of whom have seen their homes and livelihoods destroyed.

    Pakistani Ambassador Zamir Akram predicts a bleak future for his country if greater international support is not forthcoming.  He says the scale of the disaster is enormous and the tragedy is continuing to unfold.  

    He notes an area the size of England, is covered by the floodwaters.  He says the Indus River, which runs from North to South into the Arabian Sea, in normal time is three kilometers in its widest part.  Since the floods, this has swelled to a width of 35 kilometers.

    Flood-Affected Areas


    The ambassador says more than one million hectares of the country's food and cash crops have been destroyed.  He says damage to roads, bridges, health clinics, schools and other infrastructure is extensive.

    Expensive operation

    Akram says the relief and rescue phase of the operation is expensive.  But, adds this pales in comparison to the cost of rebuilding the country.

    "Initial indicators are that just for the northern part of Pakistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, the requirement would be in the tune of about $2.5 billion," Akram said. "So, it is going to be a massive effort for reconstruction and rehabilitation.  And, according to our estimate, the time it would take would be around five years."  

    Fraud fears

    Ambassador Akram dismisses media reports that donors are reluctant to support Pakistan because they fear their money will end up in the pockets of corrupt individuals.  He says he can guarantee all money donated for humanitarian operations will go for the purposes intended.

    He also is critical of reports claiming the Taliban are winning the hearts of flood victims by delivering aid the government is not providing.  

    He calls this an exaggeration and an unnecessary distraction.  He says the real issue is helping the people.

    "If you really want to stop these kind of extremist, fundamentalist types from gaining influence through their humanitarian activities, then the answer to that is not to not give any assistance, but to give more assistance so that you can make their contributions insignificant," Akram said.  "That is the way that you can overcome this possibility." 

    Help needed

    Aid Agencies Providing Relief to Pakistan Flood Victims

    In the US text SWAT to 50555 to make a $10 donation to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)

    For More Information

    The United Nations has appealed for $460 million to provide food, water, shelter, medical and other emergency assistance to the flood victims.  The U.N. reports only 35 percent of that appeal has been received.  

    As of now, Akram says Pakistan has received $301 million in multilateral and bilateral aid.  He says this is not enough to provide millions of people with basic life-saving relief.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Pakistan will be hosting a special session on the flood-ravaged country at the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Thursday.  

    Ambassador Akram says he hopes this gathering will lead to greater international commitment and support for Pakistan's rescue and relief effort and subsequent rehabilitation and reconstruction plans.


    Google Person Finder Tool

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora