Pakistan is hopeful of raising $7 billion from the conference to help flood victims of the disastrous monsoon in Pakistan in Geneva on January 9. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guteres will host the conference.
More than $16 billion is needed to help Pakistan recover from devastating floods that submerged a third of the country last year, and to better resist the impact of climate change, the United Nations said Thursday. A previous appeal for $816 million to help the victims of Pakistan’s cataclysmic monsoon floods has so far resulted in less than half that amount.
PM Shehbaz has raised the issue in an article published by British daily The Guardian, in which he pointed out that large parts of Sindh and Balochistan remain submerged. “In all, we managed to mobilise about $1.5bn in emergency relief out of our own meagre resources,” he wrote.
Politicking in Geneva
The Geneva Conference has significance for Pakistan’s political landscape as well, with PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, who was recently elevated to the position of senior vice president of the party, expected to attend.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, the current foreign minister and the scion of the Bhutto political dynasty just like Maryam is to the Sharifs, will also be in Geneva for the conference. He is expected to leave with PM Shehbaz on Sunday.
The article contended that the Geneva Conference was the beginning of a difficult and long journey to deal with the disasters of floods in Pakistan. It said that the restoration and rebuilding has to consider the contours of climate change and to assure the flood-hit that their plight has not been forgotten.
He expressed hope that the international community would help Pakistan in the recovery and reconstruction efforts. “ It is, therefore, my sincere hope that our gathering in Geneva comes to symbolise our common humanity and generosity of spirit – a source of hope for all people and countries who may face natural adversity in the future.“
The article pointed out that flood-hit areas resembles large lakes with flood water having not drained despite the passage of almost a year. There is concern that these areas may flood again by July 2023, it continued.