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(AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday that the world owes impoverished Pakistan “massive” help in recovering from the summer’s devastating floods because the country bears less blame than many other nations for climate change, which experts say contributed to the deluge.
Months of heavy monsoon rains and flooding have killed 1,391 people and affected 3.3 million in this South Asian nation while half a million people have become homeless. Planeloads of aid from the United States, the United Arab Emirates and other countries have begun arriving, but Guterres said there’s more to be done.
Nature, the U.N. chief said in Islamabad, has attacked Pakistan, which contributes less than 1% of global emissions, according to multiple experts.
Nations that “are more responsible for climate change … should have faced this challenge,” said Guterres, sitting next to Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
“We are heading into a disaster,” Guterres added. “We have waged war on nature and nature is tracking back and striking back in a devastating way. Today in Pakistan, tomorrow in any of your countries.”
The U.N. chief’s trip comes less than two weeks after Guterres appealed for $160 million in emergency funding to help those affected by the monsoon rains and floods that Pakistan says have caused at least $10 billion in damages.