Pakistan floods echoed in EU Parliament

MEPs underscore need for scaling up assistance and support for Islamabad


Kamran Yousaf October 07, 2022

ISLAMABAD:

Floods triggered by unprecedented rains in Pakistan have echoed in the European Parliament with lawmakers from the 27-nation block discussing ways to help the South Asian country in mitigating the impact of climate change.

At least 33 million people have been affected by climate-induced floods as one third of the country is under water and the catastrophe has taken over 1,700 lives.

A day after the UN and Pakistan jacked up the flash appeal from $160 million to $816 million, a debate was held in European Parliament's plenary sessions in Strasbourg regarding the humanitarian situation following the climate-induced devastating floods in Pakistan.

The debate was aimed at discussing the EU response to the situation in Pakistan and how to mitigate the extreme weather consequences of the climate-induced crisis, said a readout from the Foreign Office issued here on Thursday.

Ambassador of Pakistan to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg Dr Asad Majeed Khan attended the special debate.

The debate was opened by the Minister of European Affairs of the Czech Republic, Honorable Mikulas Bek, followed by European Commissioner of Agriculture Mr Janusz Wojciechowski.

Several Members of the European parliament (MEPs) belonging to different political groups participated in the debate.

Expressing solidarity with the people of Pakistan, the MEPs underscored the need for scaling up assistance and support for Islamabad in view of the unprecedented scale of the disaster. The climate change dimension of the disaster also came under focus in the debate.

It is pertinent to indicate that Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan briefed the influential DEVE Committee of the European Parliament on the flood situation in the country during the last week of September 2022.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari left on a two-day official visit to Germany on the invitation of his German counterpart.

Besides helping to consolidate and expand bilateral relations with Germany, the visit will provide a valuable opportunity to strengthen Pakistan’s engagement with an important member of the European Union and share Pakistan’s perspective on climate-induced floods and regional and global issues.

In addition to meeting Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Bilawal would hold meetings with other dignitaries and interact with the media.

Focus of the visit would be on further deepening Pakistan’s economic engagement with Germany, a key export destination for the country, and identifying new opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation.

Pakistan has longstanding, multidimensional ties with Germany, which is home to a sizable Pakistani community, an attractive destination for the students to pursue higher education and a major investment partner.

The foreign minister’s visit will provide further impetus to Pakistan’s relations with Germany, according to the Foreign Office.

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