Flood-relief work has forced budget estimates’ revision: PM

PM in limelight at COP27 for his ‘robust vision’ highlighting Pakistan’s climate change risks

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Monday said that due to the relief and rehabilitation of the flood-affected people, Pakistan had revised its budget estimates.

He expressed these views during the meeting with Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieve held here on the sidelines of COP-27 Summit. The prime minister told UN Secretary General that Pakistan has suffered over $32 billion damage due to the floods. He said that saving people’s lives and rehabilitation of the flood affected masses was the first priority of government. He hoped that the COP-27 Climate Conference would prove a mile-stone in getting climate justice. The prime minister said after the COVID-19 pandemic and global recession, the flood situation had also put negative impact on Pakistan’s economic recovery pace. He further said that Pakistan valued the IMF cooperation, adding, Pakistan would complete the current IMF program.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday became the centre of attention at the platform of the Conference of Parties (COP27) as he robustly campaigned for the world’s action to address Pakistan’s climate change challenges. The heads of State and governments in their interaction with Shehbaz Sharif on the sidelines of the mega climate change summit, termed his passion as “extraordinary”, featuring efforts for urgent steps to save the country from the natural disaster, according to the PM Office.

The prime minister in his meetings with Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon, Indonesian Vice President Maroof Amin, Iraq’s President Abdul Latif Rashid, and Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati drew the attention of the international community to help Pakistan overcome the risks of climate change. He highlighted the damage suffered by Pakistan in the wake of recent flash floods and emphasized transforming the key climate-related decisions into concrete actions and credible plans.

Shehbaz Sharif stressed that as a developing country most affected by the phenomenon, Pakistan needed urgency of climate solidarity and climate justice. The prime minister thanked the international community for helping the flood-struck people in Pakistan. The COP-27 is taking place at a time when millions of people in Pakistan, and millions more in other parts of the world, are facing severe adverse impacts of climate change.

Also, Prime Minister Shehbaz said that Pakistan and European Union is an important partner in achieving common goals. He met with European Union Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen on the sidelines of COP 27. The prime minister appreciated the spirit of the European Union countries to help the flood victims in Pakistan, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release. The prime minister further said that effects of climate change that developing countries were facing today, the whole world would have to suffer tomorrow. Unity was essential to combat the effects of climate change, he stressed.

The prime minister also appreciated the cooperation of the European countries in removing the name of Pakistan from FATF’s grey list. He said that there was a lot of scope for increasing bilateral trade between the EU and Pakistan.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Secretary-General of the Arab League agreed on strong cooperation to prevent the devastating effects of climate change. Also, Shehbaz Sharif extended his felicitations to President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the people of his country as they celebrated their ‘Victory Day.’ The prime minister wrote on Twitter that the Victory Day of Azerbaijan signified the resilience, courage and the national cohesion.

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