Pakistan floods cost over $10 billion

International Business News – Pakistan’s Minister of Planning, Development and Special Projects Ahsan Iqbal said on the 29th that according to preliminary estimates, the damage caused by the floods in the country exceeded 10 billion US dollars, killing more than 1,130 people, and the international community is in urgent need of assistance.

In an interview with Reuters reporters, Iqbal said Pakistan suffered “huge” losses, with initial estimates of more than $10 billion.

He believes that this year’s floods are more severe than in 2010. That year, more than 2,000 people were killed in Pakistan.

“At the moment, we have lost thousands of lives. Nearly a million houses have been damaged … people have lost their livelihoods,” Iqbal said, 45 percent of the country’s cotton crops, rice paddies and fruit and vegetables were destroyed as large tracts of land were flooded. Crop losses were severe and southern wheat plantings were also affected.

Iqbal said it may take five years to restore and rebuild.

According to Reuters, floods inundated crops and blocked traffic, causing food prices to soar in Pakistan. Pakistan appealed to the international community for help, and some countries have provided supplies and dispatched relief teams to Pakistan.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on the 28th that financial assistance is needed to deal with the flood, and he hopes that financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund can consider the economic impact of the flood on Pakistan. According to Iqbal, Pakistan is now working with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to assess the scale of the disaster in order to submit a formal request for financial assistance.

Pakistan is located in the South Asian subcontinent, with heavy rainfall in the monsoon rainy season every year and frequent floods. However, affected by climate change, this year’s monsoon season has advanced and rainfall has increased significantly. This heavy rainfall has affected all provinces of Pakistan.

According to data from Pakistan’s National Disaster Administration, since mid-June, severe disasters caused by monsoon rains in the country have killed at least 1,136 people and injured more than 1,600 people, affecting more than 33 million residents, accounting for more than 15% of Pakistan’s total population.

According to the Associated Press, at least 6,500 Pakistani soldiers participated in the disaster relief operation, evacuating trapped people and delivering relief supplies.

The weather forecast shows a low chance of rain in Pakistan this week. However, Climate Change Minister Sheri Rahman and meteorologists warned that more precipitation is expected to hit parts of Pakistan next month.

“The situation (in Pakistan) is expected to worsen as more persistent rainfall arrives,” UN Secretary-General Spokesperson Stefana Djarric warned at a press conference on the 29th.