Islamabad [Pakistan], August 24 (ANI): In the wake of massive floods across Pakistan, the Shehbaz Sharif government has launched an international appeal seeking funds for relief and rehabilitation of flood-hit people across the country.
This decision to reach out to the world was made on Tuesday during an emergency meeting to reassess the damage caused by floods and to apprise donors of the magnitude of the crisis, the Dawn newspaper reported.
During the urgent meeting, the Pak PM also appealed to the nation to extend help to the flood-stricken people as the government needs additional funds to rehabilitate the flood victims.
"The current relief operation needs Pkr 80 billion and hundreds of billions of rupees also required to overcome the losses as well as for rehabilitation of the victims," the Pakistan prime minister said in a video message.
Divulging the details of the crisis, Shehbaz said the government was distributing Pkr 37.2 billion as cash relief whereas funds to the tune of Pkr 5 billion had "immediately" been to accelerate the rescue efforts.
He said Pkr 25,000 cash aid was being paid to the flood victims. The government would also provide compensation of Pkr 1 million to the families of the deceased, along with additional support for the injured and damages caused to the houses, he added.
So far the massive floods in Pakistan had claimed at least 830 lives and left thousands of people across the country homeless.
Attending the same meeting, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal asked the governments of the two worst-hit provinces -- Balochistan and Sindh -- to requisition the military for help in combating the flood situation.
Pakistan Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman admitted Pakistan was not able to deal with the floods situation on its own.
"Torrential rains unprecedented in Sindh right now, Balochistan, DG Khan also at risk. No question of the provinces or Islamabad being able to cope with this magnitude of climate catastrophe on their own. Lives are at risk, and thousands are homeless. International partners need to mobilise assistance," she tweeted.
The minister said it is a humanitarian disaster of unprecedented monsoon proportions.
Rehman added the provincial and federal governments were incapable of dealing with the situation given the magnitude of the disaster and urged international partners to mobilise assistance.
This unprecedented emergency situation comes amid the rising political tension in the country over a terrorism case filed against former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Writing for the Dawn, Pakistani columnist Zahid Hussain said nothing could be more surreal than watching political leaders engaged in a sordid game of thrones while a large part of the country is devastated by torrential rains.
In an article titled "Politics in times of calamity", Hussain said villages have been wiped out by flash floods.
"There are horrific scenes; the destruction across the country has left thousands of people homeless and without sustenance," he added. (ANI)