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Drop the Debt, Not People! A Call for Climate Action


Experts and Civil Society activists’ urge that Pakistan witnessed one of the most devastating floods of its recent history in August 2022 due to climate change which has affected economy, infrastructure, and food security of most vulnerable segments of the society in Pakistan.

The recent reports and projections of world bank and IMF world economic outlook report projected that number of poverty stricken people will increased in future along severe food security issues, & high inflation.

Pakistan needs 30 billion dollars for build back better which should be provided under nature for debt swaps by the IFIs and global emitters. These demands were made by the speakers of public forum on “Climate Justice: Drop the debt for Build better back Pakistan”organized by NARI Foundation at Sukkur

Indus Consortium and Grow Green Network member Mr. Anwar Mahar and Shazia Abbasi ,NARI Foundation, reiterated that as per precipitation, rainfall was more than 1700 mm in a few towns and approximately 1100mm on average in the entire country. Sometimes we are drowning due to the unexpected monsoon rainfalls, whereas other times we are facing severe and recurring droughts due to rapid climate change phenomenon.
Monitoring Officer of the Planning and Development Mr. Ahmed Hussain Mahar said that according to facts and finding of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), 1696 people have died, 12867 become injured, 2048789 houses are damaged, 440 bridges are completely washed away, 13097.98 km of road infrastructure have been damaged, 634,749 population is living in camps and 33 million people has been displaced from their abodes. These all are the worst impacts of climate change on our lives. DDMA, PDMA and NDMA are extensively engaged in responding this disaster but it is far beyond the human and one country’s capacity.

The forum was, Addressing to the public forum held here under the theme “A call for climate action” to foster an open dialogue with civil society members from academia, journalism, district government, and INGOs allowing them to share their views and proposals ahead of the climate action and debt swap for nature, Mr. Ghulam Murtaza , politician and social activist said “The share of Pakistan is less than 1% of GHG emissions and carbon footprints but it is ranked among the top 10 vulnerable countries to climate impacts.

It’s a grave concern of the Government of Pakistan, civil society, and the private sector about the role of the global north especially the top ten countries who are producing GHG emissions through anthropogenic activities, thus they shall bear the cost of reconstruction of Pakistan.

The Multilateral Development Banks and Development Finance institutions should cancel the external debt of Pakistan.

While speaking on the occasion Mr Abdul Qadir said that “Millions of people across the country are at risk of or are already facing energy and water crises, as well as food insecurity, as a result of lower-than-expected agricultural production owing to climate shocks, increased insecurity, and higher food costs. Pakistan’s food security situation is anticipated to worsen further in 2023.”

Flood affected community males and females presented the testimonies and shared their views and worry that how the rain flood has devastated their houses, lands, lives and livelihood. Talking on the occasion Ms Safia Baloch, renowned politician and social activist said that floods have increased the transmission of water- and vector-borne diseases and posed health risks for communities.

He demanded that the rehabilitation and compensation packages should be inclusive and poor people, landless farmers, women headed households, non-Muslim, and transgendershould be ensured not to leftover.

This is the high time that all the developed countries should come forward and join hand to face this devastated situation.

The participants signed charter of demand and demanded from multilateral banks for climate justice by debt swap for nature and spend the funds on the rehabilitation of flood affected people.

Climate change activists also demanded from the Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation for the transition of its intended funds from Tabeer LNG towards local solar and wind clean energy renewables sources.

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