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September 30, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Another UN appeal to seek $600m more for flood aid
• The United Nations will be launching a fresh appeal on Oct 4 for an additional $600 million in support to Pakistan for providing immediate relief to millions of flood victims across the country.
• In a follow-up meeting of the Steering Committee for Coordination of International Assistance for Flood Relief Activities, Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Secretary Humair Karim told bilateral donors and international and domestic aid and relief agencies that the UN would launch the revised humanitarian appeal on Oct 4 for $600m additional relief assistance.
• He said the UN launched a flash appeal on Aug 30 for $160m assistance for flood relief support, but the grant was not considered enough in the face of the unprecedented devastation.
2. PM okays 2,000MW solar projects in public sector
• Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has green-lighted the construction of solar power projects of 2,000 megawatts in the public sector to generate low-cost and environment-friendly electricity and directed officials to ensure citizens get uninterrupted gas during the winter.
• Separately, in a ceremony at the US embassy in Islamabad, the premier urged Washington to forget the past and revive bilateral relations. He also criticised PTI chief Imran Khan for practically derailing the multibillion-dollar CPEC project through a months-long sit-in that brought the capital to a standstill
3. PM House `debugged to bar further leaks
• A high-powered committee constituted to probe into the leak of informal conversations from the Prime Minister House is said to have combed and debugged the entire premises, which was also confirmed by a federal minister during a press conference on Thursday.
• `They have conducted thorough inspection of the building,` a source told Dawn. The team was also monitoring mobile phone data and laptops of employees and officers of the PM House and Office.
• Following a series of audio leaks over the last week, also featuring Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz and former PM Imran Khan, a new standard operaung procedure (SOP) has been implemented at the PM House under which no staff and officer was allowed to take their mobile phone inside the building.
• `The phones are collected at the entrance and returned after officer hours,` the source added
4. Govt unveils ambitious plan to revive Indus` natural routes
• Unveiling the `Living Indus Initiative` on September 29, 2022, Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman on Thursday declared that flood-hit Pakistan will have to `find ways to revive natural routes of Indus river` Ms Rehman recalled that the cabinet had already approved the country`s largest Indus initiative, which is aimed at protecting the cradle of civilisations under serious threat from environmental degradation and anthropogenic activities.
• Speaking at a media briefing, Senator Rehman unveiled the salient features of the project that she said had been conceived after thorough consultation with the academia, experts and provincial governments.
• Calling Indus `mother of the nation`, she said the mighty river fed the entire agriculture and humanity living along it from the north to the south. `We will have to ensure development in harmony with nature, not against the nature,` she emphasised The United Nations, she said, was assisting the ministry in preparing a report on Indus river to devise a well-thought-out strategy to initiate its `conservation and restoration as a living river`
5. Pakistan third among new sellers on Amazon
• In little over a year after US multinational e-commerce giant Amazon opened to merchants from Pakistan, the country has retained its place among the top three nations selling a range of products worldwide while using the digital platform.
• While briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce on Thursday, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) officials also sounded confident about the potential of the country, its exportable products and the skills of those individuals engaged with the platform hoping they would manage to maintain upward trend while capitalising on the fast growing opportunity.
• `Pakistan is currently among the top three new sellers that joined Amazon`s marketplace in the US in 2022,` said a TDAP briefing to the members of the NA`s standing committee headed by its chairman Raza Rabbani Khar.
• `Unsurprisingly, the US and China top the list.