ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – Pakistan is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to face disasters like earthquakes and floods due to climate change.

United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Pakistan, Neil Buhne, and the head of the Agha Khan Foundation in Pakistan, Akhtar Iqbal gave these remarks during thier visit to Chitral district on Friday.

Both types of disasters affected Chitral recently, the July flash floods, and the October earthquake that affected many parts of KhyberPakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan.

The main purpose of this visit was to understand the effects of floods and the earthquake on the people and development, besides to assess the needs for reconstruction efforts.


Neil Buhne said, “Pakistan’s vulnerability to both natural hazards and climate change has the potential to damage and delay development in the country.

This visit today highlights the importance of government efforts to provide relief to the vulnerable people, and also the significance of quickly following up with comprehensive reconstruction carried out in collaboration with the local communities, the press release stated.

Akhtar Iqbal said, “A stronger humanitarian-development link can help better assess the situation as well as the details for the extent of damages and how the local communities can be made more resilient to future catastrophes.

Together with the government and other stakeholders, we can help build stronger capacities to plan for, and respond to disasters. Shared commitment through engagement with key stakeholders can help prevent disaster-related humanitarian crises and protect development gains.”

Assistance (FOCUS) Nusrat Nasab.

TOPSHOTS Pakistani survivors clear the debris of destroyed houses in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran on September 25, 2013.  Desperate villagers in southwest Pakistan clawed through the wreckage of their ruined homes , a day after a huge earthquake struck, killing more than 270 people and creating a new island off the coast.   AFP PHOTO/Banaras KHANBANARAS KHAN/AFP/Getty Images

The mission met and interacted with the communities and the local government authority in Chitral. The analysis following this visit will contribute to the overall assessment prepared by the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that will be further discussed at a workshop with international development partners on December 10.