UK pledges support for flood victims in Pakistan


LONDON, Sep 09 (TNS):The United Kingdom (UK) on Wednesday pledged support for the victims of devastating floods in Pakistan, besides provision of life-saving clean water, sanitation and shelter to over 55,000 vulnerable people.

According to a Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) news release, the announcement was made by Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia at the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office, during a virtual visit to Pakistan where he also discussed with the Government of Pakistan how Britain could work with them to tackle the climate change.

The FCDO said £800,000 aid package would be given through the National Disaster Consortium (NDC) to provide immediate relief in rural Sindh to many, who had lost their homes.

“It comes on top of the UK’s distribution last week of emergency stocks, including hygiene kits and tarpaulins to over 1,118 families in flood-affected districts of Sindh. The UK will coordinate closely with Pakistani authorities to ensure that aid gets to where it is needed most,” it added.

Lord Ahmad, in the statement, said:”Like everyone in the UK, I have been saddened to see the heart-breaking images of the flooding in Pakistan. The UK stands with Pakistan, ready to help, as entire communities have lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones.”
The UK aid announced today would ensure life-saving clean water, sanitation and shelter gets to those who needed it most, he added.

The recent monsoon flooding, he said, served as a stark reminder of how devastating natural disasters could be – and the dangers of climate change.

Lord Tariq said, “During my first virtual visit to Pakistan as a Minister of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, I also launched a year of climate action from the British High Commission ahead of COP26, which will save lives, create jobs and protect the environment.”

On the occasion, British High Commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner CMG said: “Following Pakistan’s remarkable success against COVID-19, it is important that we support strengthening systems against the devastating flooding.”

As part of Lord Ahmad’s virtual visit, the UK urged Pakistan to be ambitious and work together on a green recovery from COVID-19 as part of a UK-Pakistan year of climate change action, ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, in Glasgow next year.

Lord Ahmad discussed with the Government of Pakistan how the UK could help the country

transition to cleaner energy, emphasising that with the UK’s world-leading expertise in this area, it could help Pakistan make the most of opportunities from the rapidly falling cost of renewables.

The FCDO statement added that Lord Ahmad also visited a UK-funded girls’ education programme in South Punjab.

The UK has committed to ensureg every girl gets 12 years of quality education, and in Pakistan, the UK has supported nearly 8 million girls to attend primary and secondary school.

The minister also visited the Polio Surveillance Centre, which was also the COVID-19 surveillance centre.

He met the Coordinator National Emergency Operations Centre Dr Rana Safdar, who briefed him on Pakistan’s response to COVID-19.

The minister was due to meet Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood to exchange views on bilateral relations, and trade ties, and to take part in a roundtable for media freedom.\932