Pakistan ambassador to EU calls for international donor conference to help with flood damage

·2-min read

Pakistan needs an international donors conference to help it deal with the damage caused by recent floods, according to the country's top diplomat to the European Union.

Floods have hit Pakistan hard, displacing almost one million people and causing nearly €10 billion in damage since mid-June.

Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan told Euronews that a conference to raise money is the best way to help resolve the situation.

"The crisis is going to get aggravated because the water is going to impact our ability to sow the winter crops. So, considering all this, I think an international donors conference would be a matching or befitting response to the challenge," Khan said.

Pakistan's prime minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked the international community for "serious and sincere support", after swathes of crops and infrastructure have been destroyed.

Ambassador Khan also described how 5000 kilometres of road and 243 bridges have been damaged, as well as one million houses and 730,000 livestock also being seriously affected.

He added that the death and destruction currently being witnessed in Pakistan is likely to get worse in the coming days.

"The water that is falling down now, in the form of rain, is going to hit those areas that are already flooded - the rivers, the dams, the barrages," the ambassador said. "So, we anticipate a lot of more trouble ahead...the destruction and disaster that we are seeing may actually be the tip of the iceberg."

The European Commission has already allocated €1.8 million in immediate humanitarian assistance and says it intends to step up the support.

"Indeed, this is an initial amount and we are looking at ways of increasing it further as needs continue to escalate," Balazs Ujvari a European Commission spokesperson told reporters on Wednesday.

"At the moment, we have a pending activation of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, again from the Pakistani authorities, asking for shelter."

In the last three decades, Brussels has financially supported Pakistan, as it has struggled to develop, in large part due to political turmoil, while also ranking in the top 10 countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

The United Nations estimates that nearly €160 million euros in emergency funding will be needed. And in a show of solidarity, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres will next week visit Pakistan.