Pakistan needs more money in the relief fund due to economic difficulties, says Imran Khan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday appealed to overseas Pakistanis to donate generously to the Relief Fund for COVID-19 to cope with the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a video message, he said the entire world is struggling against the pandemic, which has led to lockdowns.
"The lockdown has adversely affected the world economy, including Pakistan, resulting in growing poverty across the globe,” said the prime minister.
He added that in the wake of growing economic difficulties, the country needs more money in the relief fund and urged the overseas Pakistanis should come forward to contribute in this regard.
The prime minister, giving an example of the United States, said the US has a population of 300 million people and has allocated $2.2 trillion, while Germany and France, having a population of less than Pakistan, earmarked $1 trillion each to provide relief to their people.
"Pakistan can only manage $8 billion for the relief fund and in such a situation, we want overseas Pakistanis to donate generously,” he added.
Imran also expressed confidence that with the help and cooperation of Pakistani youth, the Corona Tiger Force, and overseas Pakistanis, the country will succeed against coronavirus.
Meanwhile, in a video message, former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen also appealed to overseas Pakistanis to donate generously in the PM's Relief Fund.
Earlier in a separate message, Imran has also appealed to the leaders of rich countries, the UN secretary general and heads of financial institutions to give debt relief to developing countries like Pakistan so that they could combat the deadly COVID-19 in a better way.
In a video message to the international community broadcast by TV channels, the prime minister highlighted the difficulties being faced by the developing countries, particularly those burdened by heavy debt, in handling the situation and said the biggest challenge for nations in the developing world was to save their peoples from dying of the pandemic and hunger due to extended lockdowns triggered by the disease.
Mentioning the huge relief packages announced by the US, German and Japanese governments in their countries to cope with the situation, the prime minister said that the maximum "we could afford was $8 billion”.
"This is the issue with most countries of the developing world suffering from a very high debt to the GDP ratio, so the problem in these highly indebted countries is that they now face lack of fiscal space,” Khan said, adding: "We do not have the money to spend on already overstretched health services, and secondly, to stop people from dying of hunger.”
"Therefore, I appeal to world leaders, to UN secretary general (Antonio Guterres) and to heads of the financial institutions, to launch an initiative, an initiative that will give debt relief to developing countries to combat the coronavirus,” he said.
The Pakistan International Airline (PIA) flight with 227 passengers, mostly from Dubai and Northern Emirates, were lucky to get seat confirmation earlier and boarded the flight which left Dubai around 7pm local time.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday spearheaded a long telethon, televised live on TV channels, to mobilise funds from the people at large to help the deserving persons affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in any way.
"Tomorrow we will partially open airspace for international flights. This is being done specially to help our overseas workers who have suffered most in this pandemic but have shown great courage and made us proud," the prime minister said on Twitter.
"We have been informed deserving community members through phone to book their tickets for upcoming special flights of PIA and the tickets have been issuing through special counters set up at the Terminal 2, Dubai International Airport,” he said.
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