President Asif Ali Zardari today called upon the international community

President Asif Ali Zardari today called upon the international community

Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari today called upon the international community, especially the countries which were advanced in disaster management, to assist Pakistan in capacity building to meet eventualities caused by natural calamities that could be recurring due to climate change.

This he said during his meeting with Ms. Margareta Wahlstrom, Special Representative of UN Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, today who called on the President at Aiwan-e-Sadr.

Ms. Margareta Wahlstrom was accompanied by Mr. Timo Pakkala, UN Resident Coordinator in Pakistan, Mr. Toshihiro Tanaka, UNDP Country Director Pakistan, Ms. Mashavi Ariyabandu, Regional Programme Officer, and Dr. German Velasquez, Senior Regional Coordinator.

Secretary General to the President Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Dr, Ishfaq Ahmed Khan, Advisor Science and Technology, Senator Syeda Sughra Imam, Senator Dr. Babar Awan, Ms. Sherry Rehman, MNA, Ms. Asma Arbab Alamgir, MNA, Chairman NDMA Dr. Zafar Iqbal and other senior officials from Pak side participated in the meeting besides Spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhatullah Babar.

Briefing about the meeting Spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhatullah Babar said that President Zardari thanked the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for their allocation to help the flood affected people of Pakistan. The President said that Pakistan greatly appreciates UN support and that we look forward to active participation of the international community in UN-launched ‘Pakistan Floods 2011 Rapid Response Plan’.

The President said that the devastation caused during erratic climatic changes was a wake-up call to search for permanent solutions to the natural disasters. He said that the situation calls for enhanced cooperation between those who have expertise and advance technology and those who were still struggling to cope up with such emergency situations.

He said that keeping in view the erratic climatic changes, the Government, in collaboration with private sector and non-governmental organizations, was working on a number of steps including educating the people to meet situation caused by natural calamities. However, the President said, the scope of our efforts remains limited mainly due to the economic constraints and limitations of capacity.

He said that Pakistan was vulnerable to a range of natural hazards and looked forward towards the international community to assist us in capacity building and also in relief and rehabilitation efforts in the devastated areas.

Discussing devastations by recent floods the President said that agriculture sector had suffered hugely and cash and foods crops and livestock had been destroyed. A large number of livestock heads were still at risk due to diseases as the stagnated water receded.

The President said that a devolved and decentralized system for disaster management was already in place and the Provincial and District components of disaster management were working in the flood affected areas. The NDMA was tasked to coordinate and monitor implementation of National Policies and Strategies on disaster management, he said.

The President said that National Disaster risk Management Framework has been formulated by NDMA to guide the working of disaster risk management in its entirety.

Ms. Margareta Wahlstrom, Special Representative of UN Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, expressed sympathies with the people of Pakistan over huge destruction caused by incessant rains and resulting floods, especially in Sindh. She assured that UN would continue to assist the flood victims in the providing relief and rehabilitate them.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326

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