Pak can’t afford to risk its future by being ill-prepared for floods: UN

February 23rd, 2011 - 3:11 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, Feb 23(ANI): Pakistan must spend millions of dollars on rebuilding areas devastated by the floods to avoid massive loss of life and jobs in future, a top United Nations official has said.

The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlstrom, said that Pakistan faces a massive future loss of life and livelihoods by not investing in mechanisms that mitigate the risk.

“Pakistan cannot afford to risk its future and lives of its people by being ill-prepared. As Pakistan begins the task of rebuilding, political will is needed to halt the disaster spiral,” the Daily Times quoted Wahlstrom, as saying.

She also said that the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have reported that an investment of 27 million dollars in disaster risk reduction mechanisms could greatly reduce losses from future disasters.

Margareta is currently on a five-day visit to Pakistan.

Heavy monsoon rains had flooded the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan regions of Pakistan and affected the Indus River basin in July last year.

At one point, approximately one-fifth of Pakistan’s total land area was underwater.

According to official data, the floods directly affected about 20 million people, mostly by destruction of property, livelihood and infrastructure, and close to 2,000 people were killed.

The number of individuals affected by the flooding exceeds the combined total of individuals affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. (ANI)

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