8 mln Pakistanis still displaced after summer floods: diplomat

8 mln Pakistanis still displaced after summer floods: diplomat

GENEVA, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) — Some 8 million people remain “acutely displaced” after last summer’s floods in Pakistan, since waters still have not receded in some areas, the country’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva said Thursday.

Khalil Hashmi told a press conference that there was an urgent need for housing, and that flood damage had impacted agriculture, and people’s livelihoods.

Hashmi was speaking ahead of a high-level conference on Climate-Resilient Pakistan next week to be attended by Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Knut Ostby, Resident Representative in Pakistan of the UN development agency UNDP, told Thursday’s press conference that more than 1,700 had been killed in the monsoon flooding disaster.

Meanwhile, at least 2 million homes were destroyed or damaged, along with around 13,000 km of road, 3,000 km of railway track, 439 bridges, and 4.4 million acres of agricultural land.

Since there is still standing water in several areas, “many people cannot get back to their regular livelihoods” and therefore remain reliant on humanitarian assistance, he added.

He also warned that although the Pakistan flooding was “unprecedented,” it could happen in other countries.

The International Conference on Climate-Resilient Pakistan, co-hosted by the Government of Pakistan and the United Nations, will take place at the UN Office in Geneva next Monday.

The aim of the conference is to bring together public and private sector leaders to generate international financial support for communities impacted by the floods in Pakistan, as well as to rebuild damaged infrastructure.

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Author: Shirley