Flood disaster far greater than 2005 earthquake: FM.ISLAMABAD, Aug. 13 -- Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday called for immediate world assistance to Pakistan to cope with the flood disaster in the country, which he said was a far greater tragedy than the 2005 earthquake.
"There is no comparison of the two calamities, as the number of people affected by the current flood disaster is estimated at 15 to 20 million people in contrast to that of 3.2 million affected in the 2005 earthquake", Qureshi told a press briefing, after he had accompanied envoys of various countries to a visit of the flood affected areas to get them updated with the devastation.
He said the 2005 earthquake had affected an area of 30,000 square kilometers, whereas the flash floods have affected over 135,000 square kilometers area of the country, with millions of people displaced internally.
The foreign minister said the response of the international community to the flood situation was "fairly encouraging".
"At the moment when the UN is launching its urgent appeal in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of , there are 24 interventions pledging $156 million. The UN has called for $460 to $500 million to meet urgent relief requirements, which would be enough to provide relief to about six to seven million people, whereas rough estimates goes up to twenty million affected people," he said. "Therefore, apart from the UN and bilateral assistance coming from donor countries, we will have to mobilise national resources to address the challenge", he added.
Qureshi, who briefed representatives of foreign missions and also took them to a few affected areas, said he would meet representatives of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Red Crescent
1. A branch of the Red Cross organization operating in a Muslim country.
2. The crescent-shaped emblem of such a branch. with a view to mobilize these organizations for relief efforts.
He added that he has several proposals to mobilize international assistance and these would be finalised after inter-ministerial consultations and meetings with the president and prime minister.
He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs foreign affairs
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Critical: Qureshi urged the international community to assist in the four badly-needed areas of shelter, clean drinking water drinking water
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He pointed out that millions of people have lost their homes and "we need tents and plastic mats to provide them with temporary shelters".
Similarly, clean drinking water was another challenge as the water supply systems, wells, springs and other supply sources have been disrupted, he added.
Help: The diplomats from Turkey, Argentine, Australia, US, Canada and Italy said that they were stunned by the scale of the devastation, adding that no nation's government could have tackled the disaster, without international aid.
They said the world community was generously providing assistance, but the tempo would have to be maintained to not only accelerate the relief efforts but also the long-term phase of reconstruction.
The diplomats also assured continued assistance of their countries in meeting the challenges ahead.
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