UN Development Chief pledges support to Pakistan's recovery from floods
Islamabad - Expressing sympathy for the loss of life and damage caused by last year’s unprecedented floods, Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), also assured the Government of Pakistan of the continued support of the United Nations and UNDP to the people in restoring their livelihoods, basic social services, and community infrastructure.
“With its long-standing and extensive presence in Pakistan and the financial support of a range of partners, UNDP will continue to help communities in the worst-affected areas to rebuild their lives, prioritizing needs identified by the communities themselves”, Helen Clark said.
During her meeting with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani, in Islamabad on Tuesday, they discussed how the UN development system can best support Pakistan in tackling its development challenges and making progress on the MDGs. UNDP’s engagement with the Planning Commission to support the formulation and implementation of the Government’s “New Growth Strategy” was also discussed.
At an event to commemorate twenty years of the UNDP-commissioned Human Development Reports founded by noted Pakistani economist, the late Dr. Mahbub ul Haq, Helen Clark said that his work had helped to change profoundly the way in which development policies globally are framed and practised, putting people at the very centre of development.
During her official visit to Pakistan, Helen Clark met with the Prime Minister, ministers and senior government officials, Dr. Fehmida Mirza, Speaker of the National Assembly, the Chief Minister of Sindh and provincial ministers, the Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, Lt. General Nadeem Ahmed, and members of the international community and civil society organizations.
At the meeting with Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Helen Clark stressed the UN’s desire to align its development support with Pakistan’s own priorities, and to “deliver as one” UN.
In Sindh, Helen Clark visited the city of Khairpur Nathan Shah and the village of Bagho Teweno in the Dadu districts, where UNDP, with funds from Japan, helps pump out stagnant flood water and clean up debris. Helen Clark also presented ownership certificates to women heads of household for their new disaster proof and energy efficient homes.
“UNDP’s early recovery programme has so far mobilized $90 million of its US$ 120 million target to support Pakistani people’s recovery from this unprecedented disaster,” said Helen Clark. “While we work together with people and communities to build houses, repair roads and schools, it is also crucial to put in place systems which will reduce the impact of future disasters,” she said.
Communication Analyst, UNDP Pakistan
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