Minister says floods in Pakistan are worth more than 10 billion dollars

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal revealed the estimated costs on Monday, telling CNN: “The world needs to support Pakistan to deal with the impacts of climate change.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) provided a lifeline on Monday, releasing $1.17 billion in bailout funds to prevent default on the South Asian nation’s debt obligations as it The country is grappling with political and economic turmoil made worse by unprecedented flooding.

About 33 million people – or 15% of the population – have been affected by severe flooding and rain, according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) says at least 1,136 people, including 386 children, have been killed and 1,634 injured since mid-June, as incessant rain raised concerns about many more deaths. According to the NDMA, the floods have also destroyed critical infrastructure including more than 130 bridges and nearly half a million homes.

“By the time this is over, we might have a quarter or a third of Pakistan under water,” Pakistan’s Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman told Turkey’s TRT World news agency on Thursday. Five.

Families sit near their belongings submerged in flood water in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province on August 28, 2022.
According to researchers and aid groups, even before the floods, Pakistan was already suffering from a climate crisis proportionately. Last year, Pakistan ranked the country most affected by climate change from 2000 to 2019, in Global Climate Risk Index by the nonprofit group Germanwatch.

In a statement on Monday, the IRC Director for Pakistan, Shabnam Baloch, said the country was “suffering the consequences of the world’s inaction” on climate change “despite producing less than 1% of the amount it produces” carbon emissions in the world.”

Mr. Baloch added that the lack of sanitation facilities and clean drinking water had exacerbated the risk of disease spread in flooded areas, with nearly 20,000 people in need of food supplies and support. medical.

“Our needs assessment showed that we have seen a significant increase in cases of diarrhea, skin infections, malaria and other illnesses,” she said. “We are urgently asking donors to step up their support and help us save lives.”

IMF bailout

According to the IMF, the funds prepared by the IMF for release on Monday are part of a 2019 bailout agreement aimed at “putting the Pakistani economy on a path of sustainable and balanced growth”.

“Pakistan’s economy has been affected by adverse external conditions, due to spillovers from the war in Ukraine and domestic challenges,” said Antoinette Sayeh, Deputy Managing Director and Acting President of the IMF. “.

The IMF has previously been criticized for imposing strict austerity on host countries, forcing governments to curtail social programs and privatize national industries.

The conditions set by the IMF have forced the Pakistani government to make unpopular decisions such as electricity price increase and doubling fuel costs amid soaring inflation.

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