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Thursday, February 9, 2023

The Menace of the Changing Climate – Race Against Time

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Islamabad: The entire world is facing the brunt of climate change and most recently Pakistan has faced one of the worst climate disasters that brought massive destruction in one third part of the country. More than 1700 people died and over $40 billion of damages has jolted the economy.

Islamic Relief has been an active responder to the needs of people facing the impacts of climate change and tackling this global phenomena in partnership with government and international institutions has been a priority. Islamic Reliefheld a national conference in Islamabad on the impacts of climate change, to raise awareness on the global crisis, and solutionsto curb its impacts after experiencing a climate disaster that affected over 33 million people.

High Commissioner of Canada to Pakistan, Leslie Scanlon,Special Assistant to Prime Minister; Romina KhurshidAlam, Director Climate & Sustainable Growth USAID; Steven Rynecki, UNDP’s Senior Technical Advisor on Climate Change and Disaster Resilience; KhusravSharifovand CEO National Disaster and Risk Management Fund; Bilal Anwar graced the event with their presence. Other attendees included stakeholders and representative of national and international organizations who gave an insight about impacts of Climate Change and possible solutions. Islamic relief has been taking practical steps to minimize the damages of disasters along with continuous support for the people enduring the agony caused by climate change.

The conference included an articulate panel discussion about climate challenges and unfolding poly crisisamong representatives from international humanitarian organizations, civil society, and academia and government institutions. The panelists included Steven Rynecki, Saleh Baloch, AsfandyarKakar, Bilal Anwar, Professor Dr. Sajida Noreen. KainatQazi and Shazia Fareed.

Country Director Islamic Relief, Asif Sherazi, while addressing the conference said:

“Local and international partnerships are paramount to subside the impacts of this global phenomena and to save millions of suffering lives. We need to be more resilient and proactive towards the climate induced disasters. Balochistan is one of the worst affected region with droughts, floods and recurring extreme climatic events. It’s a race against time, we need to act now”

Special Assistant to Prime Minister; Romina KhurshidAlam while addressing the participants said that; We cannot forget that more than 60,000 pregnant women are living under the open sky andIt is high time that we hold hands to take vital measures to minimize the impacts and damages of climate change and employ all available resources for the cause.

H.E Leslie Scanlon, High Commissioner of Canada in Pakistan said that;It is essential that we work to support countries like Pakistan to adapt to climate resilience, and be prepared for future calamities. Canada is proud to partner with Islamic Relief to support the people of Pakistan and tackle the rising phenomena.

UNDP’s Senior Technical Advisor on Climate Change and Disaster Resilience; KhusravSharifov, while talking to media said that; Climate change is a rising issue which is here to stay therefore there is need to invest in policies as well as resilience. We have to witness these disasters repeatedly to acknowledge this issue, which is the sad part.

In the recent climate disaster Islamic Relief has provided aid to over 1 million people in the emergency phase with food packs, hygiene kits, and temporary learning centers, and to protect flood prone communities, developed flood protection walls that saved thousands of families from the 2022 flood. Islamic Relief in the second phase of rehabilitation is constructing infrastructure, providing business opportunities to the communities along with permanent shelters.

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