Pakistan – A Disaster of Daunting Magnitude

ASIA--PACIFIC, 23 Aug 2010

Miami Herald, Editorial – TRANSCEND Media Service

Below are excerpts from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Aug. 19 remarks to the General Assembly on the flooding in Pakistan.

Visiting Pakistan on Sunday, this is what I saw: Village after village — washed away. Roads, bridges, homes — destroyed. Crops and livelihoods — wiped out. I met many women and men with very little in the best of times, awash in a sea of suffering. They shared their fears of the next wave — the next wave of water, the next wave of disease, the next wave of destruction.

The eyes see. The ears hear. Yet, somehow, the mind struggles to grasp the full dimension of this catastrophe. Almost 20 million people need shelter, food and emergency care. That is more than the entire population hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Kashmir earthquake, Cyclone Nargis and the earthquake in Haiti — combined.

Make no mistake: This is a global disaster, a global challenge. It is one of the greatest tests of global solidarity in our times.

Thanks to your help, we are feeding people, providing clean water, medicine and shelter. U.N. agencies, international NGOs and aid groups such as the Red Cross/Red Crescent have mobilized to support the government’s response. We are getting the aid in, by whatever means: helicopters, trucks and even mules. Nearly one million people have received a month’s food ration from the World Food Program.

Similar numbers now have emergency shelter and clean water, helped by the UNHCR, UNICEF, UNDP, IOM and many others. WHO is treating health threats as they arise. But the needs are great, and this disaster is far from over.

Pakistan is facing a slow-motion tsunami. Its destructive power will accumulate and grow with time.

International humanitarian organizations are straining every muscle to deliver. But they need massive additional support. Eight million people need food, water and shelter; 14 million need healthcare, with a special emphasis on children and pregnant women.

GO TO ORIGINAL – MIAMI HERALD

 

Share this article:


DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


Comments are closed.