Pakistan asks for flood help after ‘cameras go missing’

Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has urged the world to continue helping the South Asian nation recover from the devastating floods ahead of a United Nations conference next month to raise funds.
Pakistan is facing an economic crisis with reserves covering a month of imports, a shortage of dollars and a delay in its loan program with the International Monetary Fund. Investors are still concerned about the nation’s ability to run into debt, with long-term dollar bonds continuing to trade at distressed levels despite a $1 billion bond being paid this month.
“We find ourselves in this incredibly difficult position where we are trying to manage our macroeconomic indicators with the IMF and provide the imminent relief to the people that is still needed now in Pakistan, and plan for reconstruction and rehabilitation,” Zardari said. , 34 years old. , said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Washington DC. “Unfortunately the cameras are gone, the attention is gone, but there are still floods in many parts of my country.”
Unprecedented flooding in Pakistan this summer has killed more than 1,700 people, inundated a third of the country and cut the country’s growth in half. The floods caused approximately $32 billion in damage and loss to the national economy.
The United Nations has said the global community failed to provide enough funds after devastating floods in Pakistan, which could lead to the suspension of its food support program next month. The joint UN-Pakistan appeal raised only about 30 percent of the $816 million in funds requested, according to Julien Harneis, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan. They will seek more funding at a conference in Geneva, Switzerland, scheduled for January 9.
Pakistan has faced a delay in its latest IMF loan tranche amid protracted talks with the global body, which has demanded details of how much the country will spend this year on rehabilitation after devastating floods. The IMF has indicated that the talks have been productive in revising the macroeconomic outlook after the floods, Resident Representative in Pakistan Esther Perez Ruiz said in a statement this month.
“The whole Unity Government agrees that it is important for us to deal with the international financial institutions – we want to see the fundamental reform that is needed for the overall health of our economy,” Zardari said. “But right now, our number one priority must be to help these people who are in extreme, dire distress in the short, medium and long term.”
“eight-month temper tantrum”
Pakistan is also facing renewed political uncertainty, with opposition member Imran Khan planning to dissolve two of the four provincial assemblies later this week to push the government to announce new elections. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s government, which came to power in April after ousting Khan in a no-confidence vote in the federal parliament, retaliated by tabling a no-confidence motion in the Punjab provincial assembly.
Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party and son of Benazir Bhutto – the first female prime minister of a Muslim country assassinated in 2007 – called Khan “machiavellian” and criticized him for not cooperating with the coalition government to help fund relief.
“It should have been not just my priority, but everyone’s priority to step up, put aside partisan politics and come together to meet this challenge,” Zardari said. “Unfortunately, Mr Kahn had an eight month crisis saying he was not Prime Minister.”


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