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UN Secretary General Guterres to visit Pakistan for ‘solidarity’ with flood victims, appeals for $160 mn relief

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who announced a $160 million appeal for Pakistan flood relief, is to visit the flood-devastated country next week to show solidarity with the victims of the disaster, his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday.

Describing the disaster as “a monsoon on steroids”, Guterres said in his video appeal, that “it requires the world’s collective and prioritised attention”.

Therefore, he said, “the United Nations is issuing a Flash Appeal for $160 million to support the response, led by the government of Pakistan”.

Over 33 million people has been impacted by the floods, which have killed over 1,000 people, destroyed 1 million houses and damaged 2 million acres of crops, Pakistan Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Asim Iftikar said, via video link, at a news briefing at the UN headquarters.

Dujarric said that Guterres is set to arrive in Islamabad on September 9 and travel to the areas “most impacted by this unprecedented climate catastrophe”.

Guterres linked the disaster to climate change and made the devastation a prime exhibit in the case against climate change.

“South Asia is one of the world’s global climate crisis hotspots” and “people living in these hotspots are 15 times more likely to die from climate impacts”, he said.

“As we continue to see more and more extreme weather events around the world, it is outrageous that climate action is being put on the back burner as global emissions of greenhouse gases are still rising, putting all of us � everywhere � in growing danger,” he said.

“Let’s stop sleepwalking towards the destruction of our planet by climate change,” he said, adding ominously: “Today, it’s Pakistan. Tomorrow, it could be your country.”

Iftikar said: “We are among the least contributors to climate change, but we are the most vulnerable.”

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