Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Saturday his country looked forward to cooperating with Switzerland on managing the effects of climate change and receiving an advanced weather warning system from the European country.
Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis and the head of Pakistan's disaster management authority, Lieutenant General Inam Haider Malik, signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Nathia Gali resort, located some 85 kilometers from Islamabad, to cooperate on ways to manage natural disaster risks. The two countries announced they will “pool resources” to help strengthen Pakistan's response to such disasters.
The Swiss foreign minister, who was on a three-day visit to Pakistan, said the MoU signing was a “vital step” in helping Pakistan overcome the catastrophic effects of climate change. The situation in Pakistan was a “stark reminder” of the urgent need for international cooperation against climate change beyond borders, he added.
The South Asian nation has been grappling with the effects of climate-induced rains and floods. Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, present at the event, said that despite his country's less than one percent contribution to carbon emissions, it was bearing the brunt of global climate disasters.
Pakistan is among the top 10 countries highly vulnerable to climate change. Last summer's flash floods killed over 1,700 people and left millions homeless, besides incurring $30 billion in losses to the national economy. The current monsoon rains which began in June have claimed the lives of 55 people including eight children.