Dear Consul General
I wanted to write in response to the devastating floods in Pakistan. The statistics are shocking with vast areas of Pakistan suffering from the effects of the devastating flash floods. All of those directly affected, and their families and friends, are very much in the thoughts of the Scottish Government and the people of Scotland.
As I write, more than 1,100 people (including hundreds of children) have lost their lives with 33 million people feeling the widespread impact from a third of the country being under water. We must work together to support Pakistan through this crisis.
In response the Scottish Government is exploring all options for how we can support flood relief in Pakistan. We will also urge the UK Government to commit significantly from the UK aid budget – to which the people of Scotland contribute through their taxes - to Pakistan flood relief. The Scottish Government will also work with Scotland’s Pakistani community to ensure that where we can, we can help support the efforts that the community here will be undertaking to support friends and family in Pakistan.
We must also be mindful of the long term trends that have led to the current disaster. We are very aware that Pakistan is extremely susceptible to the impacts of climate change and the fact that Sindh has received around 800% of its average August rainfall this year attests to that fact. This underscores the need for the international community to play a full role in tackling climate change. Scotland, is determined to play its role in that.
I would very much like to have the opportunity to meet you, in Glasgow or Edinburgh, so that I can hear first-hand your observations about what is happening on the ground and understand how we can work with you to support the communities and families affected by this terrible tragedy. Please do contact my office to arrange a time that we can meet.
In the meantime, my thoughts are with the people of Pakistan.
Neil Gray MSP
Minister for Culture Europe and International Development
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