UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Monday for “massive investments” to help Pakistan rebuild after historic floods last year that devastated a large chunk of the country.
Guterres, anxious to spur support for a $16-billion recovery effort, said the South Asian nation had been the victim of climate chaos and inadequacies of the global financial system.
Officials from some 40 countries as well as private donors and international financial institutions are gathering for a meeting in Geneva as Islamabad seeks support in what is expected to be a major test case for who pays for climate disasters.
The spectacular floods in August and September, which are still receding, killed at least 1,700 people and displaced around 8 million.
‘Morally bankrupt financial system’
“We must match the heroic response of the people of Pakistan with our own efforts and massive investments to strengthen their communities for the future,” Guterres said in opening remarks.
“Pakistan is doubly victimized by climate chaos and a morally bankrupt global financial system,” he added, calling for creative ways for developing countries to access debt relief and financing.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called for a new “coalition of the willing” to provide the country with a lifeline, saying it needed $8 billion over the next three years.
In a video message, France President Emmanuel Macron pledged $10 million in additional aid support.
- Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard