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UN Chief Urges Global Response During Visit To Flood-Ravaged Pakistan


Women carry belongings salvaged from their flooded home after monsoon rains in Pakistan's Sindh Province on September 6.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that the world owes Pakistan "massive" help recovering from devastating floods that have killed more than 1,300 people and left around one-third of the impoverished country under water.

Guterres said in Islamabad on September 9 that Pakistan accounted for less than 1 percent of global emissions, and that countries that "are more responsible for climate change...should have faced this challenge."

"Pakistan has not contributed in a meaningful way to climate change, the level of emissions in this country is relatively low," he said while seated next to Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on the first day of his two-day visit.

"But Pakistan is one of the most dramatically impacted countries by climate change."

Saying that humanity had "waged war on nature," he said that the environment was striking back. "Today in Pakistan, tomorrow in any of your countries," he warned.

The floods, caused by two months of record monsoon rains, have killed at least 1,391 people and affected 33 million more.

Guterres said that by some estimates, Pakistan needs about $30 billion to recover. The UN last week launched an emergency global appeal to raise $161 million to fund the immediate response to the catastrophe.

After his meeting with Sharif, Guterres was expected to head to the worse-hit province of Sindh, where many cities and town were still inundated as crews battle to bolster dykes and erect other makeshift measures to ease the situation.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the widespread risk of disease due to the disruption of Pakistan's health system from the flooding.

Pakistan's Finance Ministry has estimated damage from the floods to the country's economy, which was already struggling in the face of high fiscal and current account deficits, totals at least $12 billion.

With reporting by AFP