UN chief set to pay two-day visit to flood-devastated Pakistan


UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres will visit Pakistan on 9-10 September to express solidarity with the country’s people drenched by extreme monsoon rains that have led to the country’s worst flooding in a decade.

An official statement read that during the visit, the UN chief will have meetings with the Pakistani leadership and senior officials to exchange views on the national and global response to this catastrophe caused by climate change. The Secretary-General will travel to areas most impacted by the climate catastrophe, the statement said. He will interact with displaced families and first responders in the field, and oversee the UN’s humanitarian response work in support of the government’s rescue and relief efforts for millions of affected people.

The statement further read that the Secretary-General’s visit will further raise global awareness about the massive scale of this calamity and the resulting loss of life and widespread devastation. It will contribute towards enhancing a commensurate and coordinated international response to the humanitarian and other needs of the 33 million affected Pakistanis. The Secretary-General actively supported the USD 160 million UN “Flash Appeal” to fund Pakistan’s Flood Response Plan and contributed a powerful video message at its launch event, held simultaneously in Islamabad and Geneva on August 30, this year. The UNSG has been consistently stressing the linkage of such disasters with the impacts of climate change and warning the international community about the existential threat to our planet if climate change is not addressed in a timely and effective manner. The Secretary General’s visit will also spotlight the importance of sustained international support for Pakistan through the rehabilitation and reconstruction phase, and for building resilience against future climate shocks.

So far, at least 1,325 have lost their lives in Pakistan due to floods.