BRUSSELS : Pakistan’s ambassador to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg, Dr. Asad Majeed Khan convened a meeting of the leading Pakistani community members based in Belgium at the chancery, on Sunday.
The purpose of the meeting was to brief the Pakistani diaspora on the situation resulting from flash floods across the country and to coordinate the provision of relief assistance from Belgium for the flood-affected population.
While underscoring that the ongoing rains have caused unprecedented damage and devastation in Pakistan, the ambassador told that more than 1033 people including 348 children had lost their lives and 1,527 people got injured including 355 children.
Ambassador Khan underlined that over 33 million people have been badly affected by the floods and losses could be much more than the 2010 floods. He explained that as per the initial assessments almost 3451.5 km of roads, 149 bridges, 949,858 houses have been destroyed and 719,558 livestock have been lost due to the heavy rains in 116 affected districts, including 66 districts officially declared ‘calamity hit’ across Pakistan.
The ambassador highlighted that a massive relief operation is underway in the country with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Armed Forces, civil society, philanthropists, and welfare organizations working hard to reach out to the stranded people with direly needed supplies.
Ambassador Khan mentioned that given the scale of the challenge, the Government has decided to reach out to friendly countries, donors and international financial institutions for their support and cooperation at this difficult time. He appealed to the community members to join hands with the government to save lives and provide much-needed supplies including food, water, medications, and tents to help fellow Pakistanis.
While apprising the community about the establishment of the Prime Minister’s relief fund for the assistance of the flood-affected people, the ambassador highlighted the procedure for channelizing donations for flood victims through the recently released IBAN numbers by the State Bank of Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, the community notables expressed condolences and sympathies on the loss of precious lives and damage to infrastructure in the floods. They assured the ambassador of their support to meet the requirements of rescue and relief operations across the country and agreed to further mobilize the community to raise resources for meeting those requirements.