Islamabad, Pakistan (BBN) – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday said he has never seen anything like the floods in Pakistan and urged foreign donors to strengthen delivery of assistances for millions of people affected.
The UN chief arrived in the South Asian nation to demonstrate the support of the United Nations and the international community in the wake of what has been called the country’s worst disaster in living memory, having claimed more than 1,200 lives and leaving at least 2.0 million homeless.
Speaking at a news conference after visiting the affected areas, Mr. Ban described what he witnessed as “heart wrenching,” recalling scenes of washed-out roads, bridges and even whole villages, as well as people marooned on tiny islands with flood waters all around them.
“I will never forget the destruction and suffering I have witnessed today. In the past I have visited the scenes of many natural disasters around the world, but nothing like this,” he said, adding: “The scale of this disaster is so large so many people, in so many places, in so much need.”
An estimated 14 million people have been affected by the floods, which began late last month in the wake of particularly heavy monsoon rains and which have destroyed homes, farmland and major infrastructure in large parts of the country, most notably the north-west province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), a UN press statement said.
BBN/SI/AD-16Aug10-11:12 am (BST)