Govt will take all steps to avert climate impact: Alvi


 ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday said Pakistan was one of the most affected countries hit by climate change and the government was working with all stakeholders to launch projects regarding disaster mitigation, adaptation and risk reduction.

Talking to a delegation of Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) led by its CEO Naser Haghamed here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the president said the government believed in inclusive and sustainable development and invited IRW to support the ongoing Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship Programme of Higher Education Commission.

President Alvi said Pakistan faced a series of humanitarian challenges from earthquake in 2005 to floods in 2010 and 2011, but with support of partners, overcame the challenges.

The President appreciated the role played by Islamic Relief Worldwide especially in the social sector of Pakistan.

He emphasized that mosques could play a pivotal role in highlighting as well as addressing social issues such as women empowerment, climate change, population control, unhealthy lifestyle, and hardships of people with disabilities.

He appreciated Islamic Relief’s support to Government institutions in various domains including health, disaster risk reduction, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) and education. He urged Islamic Relief to work in collaboration with the local health departments for provision of necessaryresources and infrastructure in order to help government provide free health services to the most deserving segments through its Sehat Sahulat programme. Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) was established in 1984 by Dr Hany El-Banna in response to the famine in Africa with offices in 40 countries. Since 1992, it has remained active in providing relief during all major natural disasters in Pakistan including the Sindh cyclone of 1999, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa displacement crisis of 2009, floods of 2010 and 2011. Apart from disaster relief, IRW also deals with issues like gender justice, women empowerment, climate change and people with disabilities.

Meanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday said Pakistan and the African countries besides cooperation in trade and security should also collaborate in addressing their common challenges of poverty and illiteracy. Addressing at the inaugural session of two-day Engage Africa Conference here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the president stressed that governments needed to adopt a people-centric approach in security-related strategy as peace had a specific link with poverty elimination.

President Alvi said people in misery looked for opportunities and crossed borders to be safe, therefore the world had a responsibility to give both peace and economic prosperity a chance. He said despite continuing exploitation even after end of colonialism, it was important at global level to encourage trade partnerships for the mutual benefit of countries. President Alvi said Pakistan had a brilliant history of relationship with Africa in view of its participation in the peace keeping efforts siding with the United Nations in conflict-hit areas, however stressed setting targets keeping in view future scenario for better integration.