News / Asia

UN Leader: Pakistan Floods Worst He Has Seen

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani at prime minister's house in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2010.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani at prime minister's house in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2010.
Ayaz Gul

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he has never seen a disaster as bad as the flooding in Pakistan.  He says the unprecedented floods demand unprecedented global support to help Pakistan deal with the humanitarian crisis. The United Nations chief spoke to reporters after meeting with Pakistani leaders and after flying over the worst hit areas in the southern and central parts of the country.

Watch Raw Video of UN Leader Ban Ki-moon's visit to Pakistan:

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon traveled to Pakistan to witness the devastation caused by historic flooding during the past three weeks.  Speaking to reporters after visiting the hardest-hit regions, the United Nations chief said his trip was meant to share his sympathy and U.N solidarity with both the government and the Pakistani people.

"I will never forget the destruction and sufferings I have witnessed today.  In the past, I have visited scenes of many natural disasters around the world, but nothing like this.  The scale of this disaster is so large - so many people, in so many place, in so much need," he said.

Mr. Ban said the flooding has possibly affected 20 million people and has ravaged one-fifth of the country. "Thousands of towns and villages have simply been washed away.  Roads, bridges, buildings, crops, millions of livelihoods have been lost.  People are marooned on tiny islands with the floodwaters all around them.  They are drinking dirty water.  This disaster is far from over.  The rains are still falling and could continue for weeks.  Dams are at severe risk of rupture," he said.

He says U.N. agencies and aid groups are moving as fast as they can to help Pakistan deliver desperately needed assistance to flood victims, including food, emergency shelter, and clean water.  The U.N. leader urged the global community to speed up its assistance to Pakistan in order to speed up and bolster humanitarian operations. "These unprecedented floods demand unprecedented assistance.  The flood waves must be matched with waves of global support," he said.

The United Nations has appealed for nearly $460 million to meet the flood victims' most immediate needs in the next 90 days.  But U.N. officials say foreign aid has been slow to come, with only 20 percent of the initial appeal arriving so far.

The United States has already provided more than $76 million in aid and has sent helicopters to help Pakistan with relief efforts.

While in Pakistan, Mr. Ban allocated another $10 million for flood victims, bringing the total that the United Nations has committed so far to $27 million.  He said that he would report back to the U.N. General Assembly, which is meeting on Thursday to discuss Pakistan's needs. "We will try to mobilize all necessary assistance.  And remember that the whole world is behind the people of Pakistan in this time of trial," he said.

U.N. agencies and aid groups say that at least six million flood victims are now dependent on humanitarian assistance to survive. Pakistani officials have put a revised death toll from the floods to around 1,400.

But U.N. officials have warned of a second wave of death from disease among the sick and hungry victims if help does not arrive in time. They have already confirmed cases of water-borne diseases in the disaster zone.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid