Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday and expressed his gratitude to him and the people of Türkiye for extending humanitarian relief assistance to Pakistan.
The relief assistance from Türkiye was in the form of immediate dispatch of tents, emergency food items, and medicines via 12 Turkish military aircraft, four ‘goodness trains’ and two Turkish Red Crescent Trucks.
The prime minister exclaimed that this is in the truest tradition of Pakistan and Türkiye's exemplary relationship.
He also expressed his gratitude for the visit undertaken on September 1, 2022, as a gesture of solidarity and support, by Suleyman Soylu, Minister of Interior, Murat Kurum, Minister for Environment and Urbanisation, the Head of AFAD and representatives of TOKI to see the devastation caused by flash floods for themselves.
Sensitising President Erdogan of the havoc caused by the riverine floods, the prime minister stated that as per initial estimates, the floods were likely to reduce Pakistan’s GDP by over 2 percentage points. He underlined that the ongoing floods have devastated millions of acres of standing crops, houses and critical infrastructure in the country.
PM Shehbaz conveyed that Pakistan was grappling with the immediate challenge of averting imminent food insecurity in the country as well as providing for rescue and rehabilitation of the victims of this climate-induced calamity.
Shehbaz briefed Erdogan about the ongoing relief activities by the government, and expressed his intention to seek Türkiye’s assistance in overcoming the food shortage as well as in undertaking reconstruction and rehabilitation of the flood-affected areas.
In the bilateral context, PM Shehbaz reaffirmed commitment to boost relations in all areas.
Record monsoon rains and melting glaciers in Pakistan's northern mountains have brought floods that have affected over 33 million people and killed nearly 1,400, including children. The inundation, blamed on climate change, is still spreading.
The disaster has estimated to have caused losses of about $10 billion, disrupting the lives of millions.
In July and August, Pakistan got 391 mm (15.4 inches) of rain, or nearly 190% more than the 30-year average, while Sindh got 466% more than the average.
The World Health Organisation has said more than 6.4 million people need humanitarian support in the flooded areas.
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