New York, NY (BBN)– Speaker after speaker took the floor at a special meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday to call for global solidarity to help flood-hit Pakistan in the wake of the country’s worst disaster in living memory and for generous support for vital relief operations.
“Make no mistake: this is a global disaster, a global challenge. It is one of the greatest tests of global solidarity in our times,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the 192-member body, which adopted a resolution calling for international assistance in support of the government’s efforts to address the crisis.
Mr. Ban, who visited the flood-stricken country on Sunday, said Pakistan is facing a “slow-motion tsunami,” with needs expected to grow, even as 15 to 20 million people currently need shelter, food and emergency care.
The UN chief thanked the international community for the generosity it has shown so far, especially in response to the $460 million requested by the UN and its partners through the Pakistan Initial Floods Emergency Response Plan that was launched last week, which is now 47 per cent funded.
More than 45 speakers, including high-level officials from a number of countries, were scheduled to address the meeting, which is taking place on World Humanitarian Day, which is dedicated to the memory of all those aid workers who have lost their lives while bringing assistance to others, and to increase awareness of relief activities worldwide.
The UN chief indicated that a high level ministerial meeting on Pakistan will take place on 19 September this year.
BBN/SI/AD-20Aug10-4:20 pm (BST)