UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Speaker after speaker took the floor at a plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday to call for global solidarity to help flood- hit Pakistan in the wake of the Asian country's worst disaster in living memory and for generous support for vital relief operations.
|The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a plenary meeting of the 64th |
General Assembly Session of the United Nations at the UN Headquarters in New York August 19,
2010. The meeting was convened on Thursday to mobilize international support for flood-hit Pakistan. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)
The secretary-general, 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.
"That is more than the entire population hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Kashmir earthquake, Cyclone Nargis and the earthquake in Haiti, combined," he stated, adding that at least 160,000 square kilometers of land is under water -- an area larger than more than half the countries of the world.
Meanwhile, Ban thanked the international community for the generosity it has shown so far, especially in response to the 460 million U.S. dollars requested by the UN and its partners through the Pakistan Initial Floods Emergency Response Plan that was launched last week, which is now 47 percent funded.
Underscoring that the needs are great, and the disaster is far from over, Ban asked nations to respond urgently to the emergency response plan and help humanitarian agencies deliver the food, water, shelter and health care that millions in Pakistan so desperately need.