Philanthropists urged to send food items for infants

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD / LONDON: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday appealed to the well-to-do segments of society to come forward and make arrangements for the supply of food items for the infants and the nascent children in the flood-affected areas.

Addressing a meeting to review the flood situation, and rescue and relief measures in the flood-hit areas, prior to his departure to the United Kingdom and US at Nur Khan airbase, the prime minister further urged the wealthy people to also arrange blankets, quilts and warm clothes as the winter season was approaching.

He urged them to make arrangements on their behalf or supply these much-needed items to the affected areas through well-established humanitarian bodies, provincial departments and different centers set up by the armed forces across the country.

About his recent visit to Uzbekistan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, the prime minister apprised that all the heads and leaders of the SCO member states, Central Asian Republics, China, Turkiye and others had expressed solidarity and support to the flood victims of Pakistan for which he thanked them individually. They had also inquired about further requirements and support, he said, adding that he told them that from their limited resources, they were also making arrangements and spending billions of rupees.

Out of the allocated Rs70 billion to support each flood-affected family with Rs25,000 compensation amount, so far Rs 30 billion had been distributed through Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in a very transparent manner. The prime minister said that he had apprised the SCO member states that this compensation amount was being distributed through a renowned system of BISP which had international credibility.

They were informed that a joint survey was being compiled which would enable the government of Pakistan to get a complete estimate of the total losses incurred during the recent floods, he added. The prime minister said the survey would ensure to plug any loophole, adding in collaboration with the provincial governments, the federal government was compensating for the millions of houses destroyed in the natural calamity.

The electricity bills of the affected populace had been waived.
He further assured the SCO leaders that the whole machinery and the armed forces of Pakistan had been working together, on war footing, to provide relief and compensate the affected families. National Flood Response Coordination Center (NFRCC) officials informed the prime minister about the relief and rehabilitation activities.

The meeting was told that according to the latest estimate, 23 districts of Sindh, 31 of Balochistan, 17 of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and two districts of Punjab were affected by the floods. The participants of the meeting were briefed about the losses of infrastructure, men and material and jobs in the affected districts. The representatives of national and provincial disaster management authorities informed the PM about the ongoing rescue and relief activities.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Saturday arrived here to attend state funeral of late Queen Elizabeth II. At the invitation of the British government, the prime minister, during his visit to UK, would represent Pakistan at the state funeral of late Queen Elizabeth II in London on September 19, the Foreign Office Spokesperson said in a press release.

After the stay in the United Kingdom, the prime minister will leave for the United States to participate in the high-level debate of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA). According to BBC, the funeral of Queen Elizabeth will take place at 11:00 BST on Monday, 19 September. It will be held at Westminster Abbey in London, the historic church where Britain’s kings and queens are crowned. The ceremony is expected to draw to a close just before noon, when the Last Post – a short bugle call – will be played. A two-minute national silence will follow.

Restoration of electricity underway in Sindh on instructions of PM: On the special instructions of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the work on Dadu-Johi 132 kilovolt electricity transmission line was continuing. The restoration of the Dadu-Johi transmission line would revive the supply of electricity to towns of Johi, Wahi Pandhi and surrounding areas hit by unprecedented floods.

The feeder of Gorakh hill station would also be made operational. Despite the flood water of eight feet in the area, the staff of Sukkur Electric Supply Company was continuing its work on boats. The prime minister himself was monitoring the restoration work in the flood affected areas. He was receiving daily report about the progress in rehabilitation.