Thursday, August 12, 2010

UN chief calls for generous support for Pakistan

Masood Haider in Dawn (Pakistan): UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called upon the international community on Monday to generously support Pakistan “at this difficult time”. He said: “This disaster rivals that of the earthquake in October 2005, but this time the geographic range is much greater.” Mr Ban said the United Nations would “soon issue an Emergency Response Plan and an appeal for several hundred million dollars to respond to immediate needs”.

“But let me stress now that we must also give thought to medium- and longer-term assistance. This will be a major and protracted task,” he said at a press conference. The UN chief observed that as Pakistan tried to grapple with the flooding that had claimed more than 1,200 lives and uprooted thousands of families, devastated infrastructure over vast swathes of territories in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh provinces.

On the United Nations’ continued response to the mammoth tragedy, the Secretary-general said he had already sent his Special Envoy Jean-Maurice Ripert to Pakistan and he was working with the authorities to assess needs and mobilise aid….

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