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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Role in Fighting IS Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Enter Public Office in Record Numbers

A steady deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid