Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani’s Address to Nation

Islamabad: Today, I am speaking to you at an occasion when storming rains in interior Sindh have yet again unleashed destruction in Sindh. In recent years, we had to face a number of natural calamities.

First, the country’s Northern Areas and most parts of Azad Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa were affected by the earthquake in 2005 and after that terrorism in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa in 2009 and the unprecedented floods in 2010 badly affected the whole country.

With the grace and blessings of Allah Almighty, the nation faced it great courage and strength. The whole nation stood united and motivated to help the flood affected people. In this respect, donor institutions, welfare organizations, philanthropists, government and non- government institutions and the armed forces played their respective roles with great dutifulness and a spirit of faith.

The international institutions and the world community also extended their helping hand, for which I am really thankful.

Owing to the large scale destruction caused by recent rains in Sindh, President Asif Ali Zardari has, through the United Nations, made an appeal to the international community for help. The scale of destruction caused by these rains is much higher than the initial estimates and international cooperation is vital for recovering from these losses. The affected people at relief camps under the open sky are waiting for immediate assistance.

The international institutions and the world community should give immediate attention towards these affected people.

We believe that the international institutions and the world community by giving serious consideration to the President’s appeal will take immediate steps on human grounds and will be able to speed up their efforts for the relief and rehabilitation of affected people.

Brothers and Sisters!

The recent rains were 142 per cent above the normal rain in this area. Initially the areas of Badin, Mirpurkhas, Tando Mohammad Khan and Tando Allah Yar were badly affected.

During the second spell of rains, the areas of Benazirabad, Omarkot, Khairpur, Jamshoro, Naushero Feroze and Tharparkar were also badly hit.

As a whole 21 districts have been affected by the recent rains and floods. As a result of recent rains, 4.1 million acres of land has been inundated, four million people have become homeless and 141 precious lives have been lost. So far 4,000 medical camps have been set up, where out of four million affected people 150,000 have been shifted to relief camps.

In the affected areas, standing crops on more than 1.7 million acres of land have been severely damaged. Besides this 64,000 livestock washed away by the floods; around 700,000 houses were damaged. To tackle this situation, our government without wasting a moment started relief work and we are utilizing all the available resources.

In this respect the government, to meet further requirements, has arranged 100,000 additional tents from the local tent manufactures during the next three weeks.

Besides, we are also making arrangements to distribute 100,000 Family Ration Bags among the affected families on daily basis.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

The federal government has so far provided relief goods worth over Rupees two billion for the flood affectees of Sindh, which includes tents, medicines, food, clean drinking water and other required goods.

It is expected that in continuity of relief, this amount will touch around Rupees seven billion by September 30.

The expenditures of relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the affected people depends on the survey to be conducted after monsoon. I have directed the National Disaster Management Authority to provide tele-health facilities in all the affected areas.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Owing to the climatic changes, the unprecedented rain spells can make the situation worse. As a result of this, the situation in those areas, which are already devastated, will not be less than a challenge.

The relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the rain-hit people are no doubt such challenges, which require more than ever strength, courage, unity and sacrifice from us. To help the affected people, we surly need far more resources than we currently have.

On this occasion, we as a nation once again have to prove our spirit of faith, patriotism and mutual affection.

The rain-affected people besides their fellow countrymen are also looking for help from overseas Pakistanis and the friends of Pakistan.

I feel contentment to mention that the governments of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa besides the assistance of Rupees 20 million each have provided several tonnes of daily use items. Similarly, the Government of Punjab has provided 24,000 metric tonnes of rice, three mobile hospitals and other relief goods for the affected people of Sindh. I am thankful to the provincial governments and armed forces of Pakistan, who have helped their

Sindhi brothers in this critical hour.

The demonstration of help and sacrifices by our fellow countrymen has renewed the memories when the whole nation during the last year’s floods had come forward to help the affected people.

On that occasion the masses had fully demonstrated their hospitality by providing edibles, health facilities and shelter to the flood affected people. Though the flood calamity and the situation caused by it was most complex and discouraging, but it could defeat our peoples’ spirit of sacrifice and cooperation.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Keeping in view the current situation, I want to seek attention of all the countrymen and donor institutions that they by feeling the immediate needs of the rain affected people in Sindh should fully extend their financial and moral support to them.

Each and every penny given for the relief and rehabilitation of the affected people will prove helpful in saving and improving their lives. I also appeal to the expatriate Pakistanis to cooperate with us for the relief of affected people.

I specially appeal to the political and democratic forces of dear country that they by keeping their political differences aside fully cooperate with the government in helping the distressed Pakistani Sindhi brothers.

I on this occasion assure my Sindhi brothers and sisters that in this hour of trial, the whole Pakistani nation and their government is with them and will not spare any effort to address their miseries.

Let us stand by shoulder to shoulder with each other in helping our calamity-hit and problem-stricken fellow countrymen. Our unity is our strength and through this strength, we can face the devastation of rains.

I pray to Allah Almighty to give us courage and guidance in this hour of test and trial. Amin!

Pakistan Paindabad

For more information, contact:
Syed Haider Ali Jafri
Personal Secretary
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 921 0335 and 9056604