Ban Ki-moon announces $10mil from UN emergency fund

Published: August 15, 2010
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United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and unseen Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari give a joint press conference at Chaklala Airbase. PHOTO: AFP

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and unseen Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari give a joint press conference at Chaklala Airbase. PHOTO: AFP

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday Ban announced $10 million from the UN central emergency response fund, making a total of $27 million since the beginning of the crisis and said “as the waters recede, we must move quickly”.

Ban pledged to speed up international aid for as many as 20 million people hit by floods, warning that the country’s worst humanitarian crisis was far from over.

Ban Ki-moon held talks with leaders and flew with President Asif Ali Zardari over some of the worst affected areas of central province Punjab.

“I’m here to urge the world to step up their generous support for Pakistan,” Ban told a joint news conference, with Zardari saying he would never forget “heart wrenching” scenes of destruction he had witnessed.

Charities have complained that relief for those affected by the worst natural disaster in Pakistan’s history was lagging far behind what was needed, with six to eight million dependent on humanitarian aid to survive.

The UN secretary general said a possible 20 million, or one in 10 Pakistanis were directly or indirectly affected by the disaster and that one fifth of the country was ravaged by floods.

“This disaster is far from over. The rains are still falling and could continue for weeks.

“The United Nations and international community and international humanitarian community are moving as fast as we can to help the government deliver desperately needed humanitarian assistance,” he said.

Ban said he would report back to the UN General Assembly on Thursday and discussions would continue on how to provide funds beyond the 460 million earmarked for an initial 90 days.

Earlier, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani in Islamabad.
Ban reaffirmed his support for the Pakistani people in this time of need.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Gilani reiterated the need for foreign assistance for rehabilitation of flood victims. He said shelter tents and medicines are required on an urgent basis. The prime minister affirmed that rehabilitation is the highest priority of the government at the time.

The UN chief will visit areas devastated by the country’s worst floods in history and will hold talks on relief efforts.

He was earlier greeted by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at Chaklala Airbase. Ban told reporters that he was in Pakistan to share the “sympathy and solidarity” of the United Nations with the people and government of Pakistan and “to see what more needs to be done”.

“I’m here also to urge the world community to speed up their assistance to the Pakistani people,” he said.

“We will try to mobilise all necessary assistance and remember that the whole world is behind the people of Pakistan in this time of trial.”

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Khurram Nizami
    Aug 15, 2010 - 3:23PM

    I like the suits that quershi shb and rehman shb wears…by looking at there suits it looks the country is prospering and the channel bag that I saw asifa zardari wearing on tour to china…Recommend

  • Aug 15, 2010 - 7:24PM

    As long we continue blaming others and this time mother nature, for the floods we never improve. Unless we own our responsibility we can never learn to grow and develop.

    Yes, there are excessive rains but the damage is largely due to our misdeds and theft of forests and all vegetation. As the timber mafia begining from the dark Zia era has pulled away forests in northern areas, there is no vegetation to hold water. Consequently, soil erosion occurs adding to more devastation.

    Will someone educate me and other readers of how much forestrd area in Pakistan has been cleaned up since the 70’s?Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Aug 15, 2010 - 9:59PM

    Thank you UN Secretary General for your timely support.Recommend

  • Sadia Hussain
    Aug 16, 2010 - 2:19PM

    The U.S Sectary General visit to Pakistan will speed up the process of relief and rebuilding. As more donors have stepped up after the endorsement by Mr.Ban Ki Moon, what is needed is a cohesive strategy to involve the donors in the process where they can be sure of its transparency and thus be encouraged to invest more. A good idea here can be increased civil society participation and more public private partnership Recommend

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