Shehbaz sends out SOS for blankets, food for infants

Asks donors to arrange quilts, warm clothes as winter approaches

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday appealed to the well-to-do segments of society to come forward and make arrangements for the supply of food items for the infants and children in the flood-affected areas.

Addressing a meeting to review the flood situation and rescue and relief measures in the flood-hit areas – prior to his departure to the United Kingdom and United States – at Nur Khan airbase, the prime minister urged the wealthy people to also arrange blankets, quilts and warm clothes for flood victims as the winter season was approaching.

He urged them to make arrangements on their behalf or supply the much-needed items to the affected areas through well-established humanitarian bodies, provincial departments and different centres set up by the armed forces across the country.

About his recent visit to Uzbekistan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit, the prime minister said that all the heads and leaders of the SCO member states, Central Asian Republics, China, Turkiye and others had expressed solidarity with and support to the flood victims of Pakistan for which he thanked them individually.

They had also inquired about further requirements and support, he said, adding that he told them that from the government’s limited resources, they were also making arrangements and spending billions of rupees.

Out of the allocated Rs70 billion to support each flood-affected family with Rs25,000 compensation, Rs30 billion had so far been distributed through Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in a very transparent manner, he said.

The prime minister said that he had informed the SCO member states that this compensation amount was being distributed through a renowned system of BISP, which had international credibility.

They were informed that a joint survey was being compiled which would enable the government of Pakistan to get a complete estimate of the total losses incurred during the recent floods, he added. National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) officials informed the prime minister about the relief and rehabilitation activities.

The meeting was told that according to the latest estimate, 23 districts of Sindh, 31 of Balochistan, 17 of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and two districts of Punjab were affected by floods.

The participants of the meeting were briefed on the losses of infrastructure, people, material and jobs in the affected districts.

The representatives of national and provincial disaster management authorities informed the PM about the on-going rescue and relief activities.

Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif could not visit the flood affected districts of Mianwali in Punjab and Tank district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to inclement weather.

The prime minister was scheduled to visit Mianwali and then Tank, but his helicopter returned to Islamabad from Mianwali due to bad weather, the PM’s Office said in a press release. The prime minister had to inaugurate newly constructed 100 housing units for the flood victims of Tank.