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September 22, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. UN to revise appeal amid fears of inadequate funding
• Pakistan and the United Nations are likely to announce revision of the flash appeal early next month for more funds to cope with the devastating floods.
• UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Julien Harneis told a presser that the original appeal seeking the initial funding of $160 million was not sufficient considering the size of the catastrophe.
• `Over the next 10 days, the United Nations and Pakistan would be revising upward the flash appeal as now we need more funds,` said Mr Harneis at the news conference also addressed by UNICEF field operations chief Scott Whoolery.
• Mr Harneis said Pakistan faced a cascading `second disaster` from diseases as well as malnutrition. The call for more funds came amid reports that stagnant floodwaters have led tow ide spread cases of skin and eyes infections, diarrhoea, malaria, typhoid and dengue fever
2. Burning of crop residue, garbage banned
• As part of measures to prevent smog, the Punjab government on September 21, 2022 decided to impose Section 144 across the province to ban the burning of crop residues and garbage.
• The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Abdullah Khan Sumbal at the Civil Secretariat. The administrative secretaries of different departments, including local government, housing and transport, director general of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and the officers concerned participated in the meeting.
• Mr Sumbal directed the officers to intensify the ongoing crackdown on industrial units and vehicles causing environmental pollution
3. Biden urges world to help `underwater` Pakistan
• As Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif urged the international community on September 21, 2022 to stay engaged with Islamabad as it struggles to recover from the devastating effects of this season`s unprecedent floods, US President Joe Biden made a fervent appeal to the world to help Pakistan deal with the devastation of the recent floods in his speech to the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
• The US president also called for action to address the climate change crisis and announced a $2.9 billion fund to support life-saving humanitarian and food security assistance across the globe for this year alone. Mr Biden also suggested `transparently negotiating` debts of vulnerable nations to forestall broader economic and political crises around the world.
• `Much of Pakistan is still under water, and needs help,` said the US leader while highlighting the impact of the changing climate on the world.
4. Qatar Charity pledges Rs700m for flood-hit
• The Qatar Charity distributed relief goods among 1,000 displaced families in various flood affected areas of Nasirabad district on September 21, 2022 and said Rs700 million would be spent on providing rehef and other facilities to the affected people of Nasirabad, Jafferabad, Sohbatpur, Jhal Magsi, Qila Saifullah and Loralai.
• The charity`s chairman, Khalid Abdullah, and focal person Junaid Dashti arrived in Dera Murad Jamali along with relief goods, including ration, edible oil, dry milk, potable water, blankets and other items.
• The goods were distributed in Dera Murad Jamali, Landhi and Baba Kot areas in the presence of local administration officials. Talking to the media, Mr Abdullah hoped the relief goods would ease the victims` difficulties to some extent
5. ADB cuts Pakistan growth forecast to 3.5pc
• Bringing down its growth forecast for Pakistan`s economy to 3.5pc, from 4.5pc projected in April, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on September 21, 2022 linked the country`s medium-term prospects to the restoration of political stability and uninterrupted implementation of the IMF programme to rebuild economic stability and fiscal and external buffers.
• In its Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2022 Update, the Manila-based multilateral lending agency also noted Pakistan`s rate of inflation going up to 18pc for the current fiscal year against its previous forecast of 8.5pc made in April but attributed it chiefly to the lagged impact of unsustainable energy and fuel subsidies of the previous government.
• `Pakistan`s medium-term prospects hinge critically on the restoration of political stability and the continued implementation and deepening of reforms under the revived IMF EFF programme to stabilise the economy and rebuild fiscal and external buffers,` the ADB said