Shahbaz Sharif, prime ministersaid pakistan should don’t force me to go out with begging bowlpolluting wealthy countries after the floods that devastated the country and said he would look for “climate justice”from international community.
Speaking from my home in Lahore, Sharif warned that Pakistan facing unprecedented crisis of health, food security and internal displacement after the “apocalyptic” monsoons that ended a third of Areas of Pakistan under water. Some areas were hit at 1.7 m of rainfall, highest on record.
Scientists have determined that the floods were caused by climate change. But with Pakistan responsible for 0.8% of global carbon emissions, Sharif said it is “responsibility of in developed countries, who caused these emissions to stand aside us”.
“I’ve never seen such of desolation, flood and misery of our people in my life,” Sharif said. “Millions have been displaced, they have become climate refugees in their country.”
While international community gave billions in funds and donations and commitments for further support Sharif was clear it was “not enough”. “Grandosity of this climate-induced disaster is beyond our financial capacity,” he said. “The gap between our needs and what available too wide and expanding day by day.
official death flood losses amount to 1600 people, although according to many estimates on the earth was higher. over nine million people have been moved and over 2 m homes destroyed also millions of families were forced live in makeshift tents or shelters on roadsides.
Degree of damage is estimated at between $30 billion and $35 billion, but Sharif said it was “a rough estimate, it could be more”, with more over 30,000 km of roads destroyed together with bridges, railways and power lines, as well as 4 million hectares (10 million acres) of washed away crops.
“Let me be clear it’s about the climate justiceSharif said. “We don’t blame anyone, we don’t make accusations, we say it’s not of our creation, but we became a victim. If I’m asked to turn my appeal into begging bowl? That is double danger. It’s not fair, it’s not fair.”
Even before the flood hit Pakistan was facing economic disaster, with soaring inflation, rising external debt repayment and fast- decrease in foreign exchange reserves. Sharif government, who took over in April after previous prime minister Imran Khan was overthrown. in a vote of no-confidence revived the program with International Monetary Fund to bring some economic stability to the country, but the funds came with painful and unpopular conditions.
Sharif was adamant that even with billions in upcoming foreign debt payouts and billions more currently in flood losses, the country averted default thanks to the IMF deal and will still be able to service the rest of his foreign debt payments that total about 22 billion dollars for in next year. “Not way. We will not allow a default,” he said.
Sharif confirmed they would be talking to “everyone”, including China and the Paris Club, about the possibility of foreign debt moratorium. “What do we ask for fiscal space but not through the burden of more debt,” he said.
But Ishak Dar, a newly appointed finance minister, said in a separate interview that he did not want to give to the Paris Club, the collective of countries, including the US, UK, Australia and France, which help countries struggling with debt.
“If a global community cooperate, donate and help with reconstruction, then I think we can avoid this,” Dar said. “Going to the Paris Club is not a very comfortable feeling, so I hope we don’t have to resort to it.”
Although the precipitation has stopped, in many areas in Pakistan – especially in in region of Sindh – more remain flooded. Humanitarian crisis in The situation in Pakistan continues to deteriorate as stagnant water causes diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. run abounds with children get sick in a large number of people and hospitals were overcrowded.
Sharif government It has faced criticism as help and assistance has not yet reached the general public of injured people who live without access to clean water, food and shelter in regions of Sindh and Balochistan. “I admit it because of immensity of in problemwe have not been able to complete the job so far should done,” Sharif said. “But just look at the distances. A little of these sections are cut off fully.”
With local corruption in Pakistan, many also expressed fears that while billions are flowing into the country, it may end up in pockets of several local administrators and leaders. Sharif insisted that Benazir’s income support program (BISP) used for payout flood relief fund known for its transparency.
Pakistan’s plight draws attention of in international community, with UN general secretary António Guterres, calling the floods a “climatic carnage”. on a scale he had never seen before. Last month, President Biden used his speech at the UN general assembly in New York to call countries to help Pakistan and leaders of UK, France, Saudi Arabia, China and many more more gave millions in donations and promises in the future support.
Sharif said as long as he was grateful for “very touching words and statements”, it was “everything is very good, but more important practical demonstration of these statements into action.
He said, “Though they do very good work, and we appreciate it, it’s not enough. They must come forward with a much better and much larger rescue plan us and rehabilitate us and put us back on our support.”
Sharif pointed to a broken promise made rich countries over ten years ago to commit 100 billion dollars a year year in climate fund for less developed nation on at the forefront of climate emergency. “Where is it money? Sharif asked. “It’s time to ask a question and remind with this countries fulfill their obligations and promises made”.
However, although many Pakistani commentators, as well as Sharif’s own climate minister, called no for help, but for climate offsets from polluting rich countries, Sharif quickly pushed back on this offer.
“We are not asking for reparations,” he said. “No, we don’t. I don’t think to speak of reparations are correct for now in time. I say they should notice of situation, take responsibility and act quickly before it’s too late, before the damage becomes irreparable – don’t just for Pakistan, but for in world”.