Emergency Declared In Flood-Hit Areas Amid Fresh Forecast.

ISLAMABAD -- The federal government on the direction of Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Friday declared emergency in the country's rain and flood hit areas.

The prime minister also directed the ministry of finance to immediately release Rs5 billion to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

According to a press release issued by the PM Media Wing, the prime minister was presiding over a meeting held here to review the flood situation, which was attended by federal ministers, advisors, members of parliament, chief secretaries of all provinces including Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, Chairman NDMA and Director General Met Office.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister was briefed in detail about the ongoing rescue and relief operations in the country. Describing the rescue, relief and rehabilitation of the flood-hit people as a national obligation, he said, 'We have to help masses beyond our political interests.'

The prime minister said that during his visit to the flood affected areas he talked about unity and national cohesion so that this big challenge could be tackled collectively.

The prime minister also constituted a high-level committee to ensure effective rescue and relief activities through coordination between NDMA and the Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs).

The committee will comprise Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Communication Maulana Asad Mahmood, Minister for Housing and Works Maulana Abdul Wasay, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Advisor to PM on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira, Chairman NDMA and Secretary Communication.

He said that the committee should hold its meeting today (Friday) and give suggestions for better coordination between federal and provincial institutions. The prime minister said that in view of the climate change, there was a need to formulate medium-term and long-term policies.

He called upon the provincial governments to send authentic information and reports to the federal government so as to assess the damages caused by rains and flood at the earliest.

The prime minister said that in order to avoid rain and flood related losses in future, there was a need of converting all the development projects in line with the climate change priorities.

The committees comprising federal ministers, who visited the flood affected areas, briefed the meeting about the problems regarding rescue and relief.


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