ISLAMABAD: The United Nations General Assembly is scheduled to hold an informal meeting in New York on Wednesday to review the outcome of commitments made by the international community to support flood-affected families in Pakistan following the monsoon devastation of last year.
Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani expressed optimism last week that the financial pledges made by various bilateral and multilateral donors to help Pakistan carry out reconstruction activities would soon materialize.
His statement came months after the United Nations and Pakistan co-hosted a conference in Geneva to generate the funds needed to rebuild homes, roads and railway tracks that were washed away by flash floods, submerging much of the country and displacing millions of people.
According to estimates, Pakistan needed $16.3 billion for reconstruction activities, with participants at the event committing over $9 billion.
“The informal meeting will hear a briefing on the implementation of General Assembly Resolution 77/1, passed last year in October 2022, which expressed ‘solidarity and support for the Government and the people of Pakistan and the strengthening of emergency relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and prevention in the wake of the recent devastating floods,’” said the curtain-raiser for the upcoming meeting, released by Pakistan’s permanent mission at the UN.
“UN Secretary-General H.E. Antonio Guterres will share the update with the participants of the meeting,” it added.
The General Assembly resolution sought to “sensitize the international community” to Pakistan’s reconstruction needs and “mobilize effective, immediate, and adequate international support and assistance.”
Prior to its passage, the UN secretary-general visited Pakistan to witness the extent of flood damages and noted that the country had experienced “a monsoon on steroids” that had devastated much of its southern regions.
Pakistan has since called for the required global assistance, pointing out that the world needs to collectively deal with the growing issue of climate change.
It was also at the forefront of efforts to establish a loss and damages fund at COP27 in Egypt, aimed at assisting those nations facing the brunt of erratic weather patterns without contributing significantly to global warming.