UN chief offers to help Pakistan

Sympathises with the predicament of people, hopes their suffering will end soon

APP June 27, 2015
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. PHOTO: UN

UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has offered Pakistan assistance to deal with the searing heat wave that has claimed more than 1,000 lives in Karachi and parts of Sindh.

During a briefing at the world body’s headquarters in New York, UN Associate spokesperson Farhan Haq said that the “United Nations would respond positively if a request comes from Pakistan to deal with the situation.” However, the spokesperson pointed out that Islamabad has not requested for UN assistance in dealing with the situation. Haq said the UN secretary general sympathises with the affected people and hopes that their sufferings would come to an end soon.

“Our thoughts and our sympathies go out to all the people who have been suffering, we certainly hope that the situation there will improve swiftly," the spokesperson said. Although cooler temperatures appeared to be helping, more than 100 deaths were reported on Thursday — taking the fatality count to 1,001.

Officials have described the sweltering heat wave as the country’s worst in at least a decade. A state of emergency is in place in hospitals across the port city, which is struggling to deal with the unprecedented number of patients affected by extreme weather conditions.

Meanwhile, issuing an alarming warning, weather experts have said that the country will experience longer and more intense climate events in the future.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2015.