‘Cascading calamities’ in Pakistan drive United Nations to quadruple funding appeal

Rich polluting countries like the UK have a “moral responsibility” to help Pakistan recover from deadly flooding fuelled by climate change, the United Nations has said as the body quadruples its funding appeal.

The revised UN plan to help Pakistan recover from this summer’s deadly flooding now calls for $816m (£728m) – a surge of $656m (£589m) from the initial appeal – just to cover the most urgent needs until next May.

In spite of the huge increase, the new figure still “pales in comparison to what is needed,” to cover food, water, health and sanitation, shelter and emergency education, secretary-general António Guterres said.

The flooding has left more than three million children hungry, killed more than 1,300 people and inflicted an estimated $30bn (£26bn) in financial losses.

“These cascading calamities in Pakistan can linger for years to come,” Mr Guterres warned today.

He told the United Nations General Assembly the “central question remains the climate crisis… greenhouse gas emissions are rising along with climate calamities”.

“In particular, wealthier countries bear a moral responsibility to help places such as Pakistan recover, adapt and build resilience to disasters supercharged by the climate crisis,” he said.

The group of 20 (G20) large economies, which includes the UK, USA, European Union and China, are responsible for 80% of all the world’s greenhouse gas pollution.

The 2022 monsoon rainfall in Pakistan has been nearly three times higher than the 30-year average. Climate scientists agree that climate breakdown is making such weather extremes more likely, and intensified the rain in Pakistan this year.

The devastation in Pakistan has reignited debate about who should pay for such loss and damage. The topic is expected to fuel tensions at the forthcoming UN climate talks COP27 in Egypt in November.

“Communities everywhere are looking down the barrel of climate-driven destruction,” Mr Guterres said as he called for “serious action” on loss and damage at next month’s summit.

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