United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appealed for “massive” global support for Pakistan following what he described as “climate carnage” as floods wreak havoc across the country.
Guterres said developing nations were paying a “horrific price” for the world’s reliance on fossil fuels, as he toured parts of Pakistan hit by floods blamed on climate change.
“I have seen many humanitarian disasters in the world, but I have never seen climate carnage on this scale. I have simply no words to describe what I have seen today,” said the UN chief, speaking at a news conference in Karachi.
“I call on the international community that Pakistan needs massive financial support, as according to initial estimates the losses are around $30bn.”
Guterres later met Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif along with other top officials.
Sharif said his country requires “an infinite amount of funding”, adding that Pakistan “will remain in trouble as long as it doesn’t receive sufficient international assistance”.
Almost 1,400 people have died in flooding that covers one third of the country and has wiped out crops and destroyed homes, businesses, roads and bridges.
Heavy rains are commonplace in Pakistan at this time of year during its annual monsoon season. But downpours as intense as this year’s have not been seen for decades, while rapidly melting glaciers in the north have added to the flood risk.