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Climate Politics

Floods Left Behind an ‘Ocean of Human Suffering,’ Says Pakistan PM

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif asks world leaders for justice for Pakistan’s climate “loss and damage” and for help rebuilding the country. 

Flooded water surround the New Jhoolay Lal Cotton Ginners & Oil Mill in Sanghar district, Sindh province, Pakistan, on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022. About 45% of the output from Pakistan, the worlds fifth-largest cotton producer, was destroyed by extreme flooding, forcing the country to spend $3 billion to import the raw material for its textile industry.
Flooded water surround the New Jhoolay Lal Cotton Ginners & Oil Mill in Sanghar district, Sindh province, Pakistan, on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022. About 45% of the output from Pakistan, the worlds fifth-largest cotton producer, was destroyed by extreme flooding, forcing the country to spend $3 billion to import the raw material for its textile industry.Photographer: Asim Hafeez/Bloomberg

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif offered an emotional account of living on the front lines of the climate crisis after severe floods  ravaged the country.

“Pakistan has never seen a more stark and devastating example of the impact of global warming,” Sharif said about the disaster. “Life in Pakistan has changed forever.” He said that much of the country was still under water, “submerged in an ocean of human suffering and this ground zero of climate change.” More than 30 million people were affected and now the  spread of malaria and other diseases threatens the country.