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August 31, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. UN chief launches $160m appeal to assist the flood-hit
• The UN on August 30, 2022 launched a $160 million appeal to provide emergency assistance to those affected by catastrophic floods in Pakistan.
• UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, in a video statement at the launch of the appeal in Islamabad and Geneva, reminded the world that `Pakistan is awash in suffering` and urged `collective and prioritised attention` to what he described as a `colossal crisis`.
• Secretary General Guterres would himself undertake a solidarity visit to Pakistan next week to highlight the scale of devastation caused by the unprecedented floods, and mobilise international assistance.
• This year, during the ongoing monsoon season, Pakistan received about 186 per cent higher rainfall than its 30-year national average. Balochistan and Sindh, meanwhile, got over 400pc more rains than the national average
2. Indian top court closes contempt case against victors of Ayodhya
• The mob that illegally demolished the Babri Masjid against the Supreme Court`s orders was declared the victor in the bitter dispute in 2019, when the apex court awarded the land where the mosque`s rubble lay to the rightwing destroyers, with a piece of the land going to the deity RamLala.
• On Tuesday, the Supreme Court closed what could be the last of the cases in the Ayodhya dispute hanging for three decades, noting that the petitioner and the chief respondent were dead.
• It also noted that the core case of the land dispute had already been decided, which the court said made the contempt petition in fructuous
3. Balochistan cut off after floods damage bridges
• Hundreds of people were stranded on Quetta-Sukkur N-65 Highway after two vital bridges were closed due to damage to their structure.
• Up north, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who visited the flood-hit areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa`s Swat district on August 30, 2022, blamed constructions along river banks for the devastation caused by floods.
• The Bibi Nani bridge in Kacchi area of Balochistan has been damaged due to incessant downpour and nooding in the area.
• Meanwhile, Pinjra Bridge on the highway has been washed away
4. More than half million pregnant women among flood-hit in dire need of care: UNFPA
• The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a sexual and reproductive health agency, has painted a bleak picture of women affected by the unprecedented floods as it said that at least 650,000 pregnant women, of whom 73,000 are expected to deliver next month, in the flood affected areas are in dire need of maternal health service.
• The UN agency also warned that many women and girls were at an increased risk of gender based violence (GBV) as almost one million houses were damaged in the floods that spelled suffering for millions across Pakistan.
• `Up to 73,000 women expected to deliver next month will need skilled birth attendants, newborn care, and support,` the agency said, adding that pregnancies and childbirth cannot wait for emergencies or natural disasters to be over as this is when a woman and baby are vulnerable and need the most care
5. Lawmaker reinstated as AJK minister
• Chaudhry Maqbool Ahmed Gujjar, a ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker, on August 30, 2022 took oath as member of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) cabinet, nearly two weeks after he was removed from the position for alleged misconduct.
• The oath was administered to him by the AJK president at the Aiwan-i-Sadr. The notification whereby Mr Gujjar was reinstated by Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas was issued late on Monday. He was allotted his previous portfolio of industries and commerce.
• However, unlike the May 11 notification whereby he was allotted this portfolio, the fresh notification has no mention of the sericulture, labour welfare and government printing press, the subsidiaries of the industries and commerce department