ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Early estimates of damage from deadly floods in Pakistan exceed 10 $1 billion, its The planning minister said on Monday, adding that the world had an obligation to help the South Asian country tackle the effects of man-made climate change.
Unprecedented flash floods triggered by historic monsoon rains washed away roads, crops, infrastructure and bridges, killing at least 1,000 people have died in recent weeks, affecting more than 33 million.
” I think it’s going to be big. So far, (a) is very early, the initial estimate is that it’s big, it’s higher than $10 billion,” Ahsan Iqbal told Reuters in an interview.
“So far, we have lost 1, 000” Iqbal said in his office.
“People have virtually lost their entire livelihoods.”
Minister said the reconstruction and rehabilitation of 200 million people It may take five years for the country to face severe food shortages in the short term.
To ease the shortage, Finance Minister Mifta Ismail said the country could consider importing vegetables from arch-rival India. [L4N3053H0]
These two neighboring countries have not had any trade relations for a long time.
“We can consider importing vegetables from India,” Ismail told local Geographical News TV, adding that other sources of food imports include Turkey and Iran.
Food prices have soared due to flooded crops and impassable roads.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was saddened by the devastation caused by the floods.
“Our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, the injured and all those affected by this natural disaster, and hope for a speedy return to normalcy,” he said in a tweet.
Videos posted by social media users show stranded people and entire families being swept away by floodwaters. Reuters was unable to independently verify such footage.
Pakistan has appealed for international aid, and some countries have sent supplies and relief teams.
The country’s foreign minister told Reuters on Sunday that he hoped financial institutions would provide financial assistance because the International Monetary Fund would provide financial assistance, taking into account the economic costs of the floods.
However, Iqbal said any formal request for financial assistance would need to wait until the scale of the damage is known and Pakistan is evaluating it with partners including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
“Our carbon footprint is the lowest in the world,” he said. “It is the responsibility of the international community to help us, upgrade our infrastructure, make our infrastructure more climate resilient, That way we don’t suffer a loss like this every three, four, five years.
Iqbal said 45 % of the cotton crop has been washed away and early-planted wheat in southern Pakistan has also been affected as large tracts of land remain Inundated by floods
Southern Sindh and southwestern Balochistan were worst hit across farmland and towns, with most of northern and northern Pakistan The rest of the country was cut off for many days.
($1 = 221.33 Pakistani rupee)
(Additional reporting by Jibran Ahmad in Peshawar and Gul Yousafzai in Quetta; Writing by Charlotte Greenfield and Asif Shahzad; Editing by Hugh Lawson, Tomasz Janowski and Cynthia Osterman)