International community pledges $8.57 billion to Pakistan for flood damage at UN conference in Geneva

ISLAMABAD/GENEVA: Pakistan said on Monday that the international community had generously responded to its call for help, pledging more than $8 billion to help the cash-strapped country rebuild in a climate-resilient way after the last year’s devastating floods that killed 1,739 people and affected 33 million.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had called for $8 billion in aid over the next three years in his remarks earlier today at the opening session of the “International Pakistan Climate Resilience Conference‘ in Geneva, which he co-organized with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“The first part of the plan reflects recovery and reconstruction, bearing in mind that a minimum financing of $16.3 billion is required, half of which will be financed by domestic resources, the other half by foreign resources,” Sharif said.
Pakistan estimated that around $30 billion was needed to recover from the deadly impact of the floods, which was the worst in three decades.
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said the first plenary session of the conference resulted in “generous impetus” from the international community.
“The European Union pledged $93 million, Germany $88 million, China $100 million, the Islamic Development Bank $4.2 billion, the World Bank $2 billion, Japan $77 million, Asian Development Bank $1.5 billion, USAID $100 million, France $345 million,” she said on Twitter. .
She added that a total of $8.75 billion had been pledged so far.
Apparently, the amount was more than Pakistan initially needed, as it was seeking half of the $16.3 required for the first three years or the first phase of reconstruction.
The objective of the one-day conference, attended by Heads of State and Government and other stakeholders, is to raise funds for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of flood-affected Pakistan in a way climate resilient.
Earlier, the Prime Minister’s special assistant for public policy and strategic communications, Fahd Husain, quoted the UN chief as saying that about $7.2 billion was raised at the Geneva conference. .
In his remarks, Sharif said Pakistan has witnessed a “monsoon on steroids this year” that has affected 30 million people, displaced more than eight million and washed away roads spread over 8,000 kilometres, but the government has reacted quickly and help from the global community restored communication. while distributing cash and food to affected families.
“We can go on and on, but really, we are racing against time. We are grateful for the support we have received from the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and several other international organizations,” he said. he declared.
He said the government had prepared a comprehensive plan for recovery, rehabilitation, reconstruction and resilience – the 4RF plan.
“This conference today is not just about helping to rebuild lives, but in fact it is about the solidarity and vision needed to secure a future not just on paper but in schools and homes. “, did he declare.
For his part, António Guterres urged the international community for “massive investments” to help Pakistan recover from the devastating floods.
“No country deserves to suffer what happened to Pakistan,” the secretary-general said, revealing that 9 million people had been pushed to the brink of poverty.
He also commended the people of Pakistan for coming to help those affected by the floods, while stressing that rebuilding the country in a resilient way would require $16 billion. However, he added that “much more” would be needed in the long run.
He pledged to support the people of Pakistan who, in his own words, have been “double-victimized” by climate disasters and “morally bankrupt” global financial systems that “systematically deny middle-income countries debt relief”. debt and concessional relief needed to invest in resilience to natural disasters”. disasters.”
He called for adopting creative ways to enable developing countries to access debt relief and concessional financing.
“We need to be honest about the brutal injustice suffered by developing countries due to climate change,” he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron, in his address via video link, promised to provide $10 million in aid to Pakistan, while announcing that his country would continue to provide expertise and some financial support to Islamabad.
More promises are expected to be made, but the real test would be to translate them into action and cash, which could take months or even years.
Germany’s ambassador to Islamabad, Alfred Grannas, said his country had pledged an additional €89 million to its climate and energy initiative in Pakistan.
“This support comes on top of the €99 million already pledged. I am grateful that we can continue our partnership with the people and government of Pakistan to build a #ResilientPakistan!” he tweeted.
Quoting a senior development agency USAID official, The Dawn reported that Washington would provide additional funding of $100 million.
“I am delighted to announce that the United States is committing an additional $100 million to Pakistan to help it recover from the devastating monsoon floods of 2022,” said the Deputy Administrator of the USAID, Isobel Coleman, to journalists on the sidelines of the conference in Geneva.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman and Economic Affairs Minister Ayaz Sadiq also addressed the conference.
The conference is being held at a time when Pakistan is facing an economic crisis due to the threat of default due to depleted foreign exchange reserves and rising commodity prices.


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