ISLAMABAD: The cataclysmic floods in Pakistan have caused economic damage to the tune of an estimated $18 billion to the country’s ailing economy, wiping out more than 8 million acres of crops and displacing more than 33 million people, reports the media on Friday.
Record monsoon rains and melting glaciers in the northern mountains have caused flooding that has killed at least 36 people in the past 24 hours, raising the death toll to 1,391 on Friday, according to the National Management Authority disasters.
The cost of rapidly assessing projected economic losses from Pakistan’s worst food floods, as calculated by the government and approved by the provinces, has risen further to about $18 billion, according to The News International newspaper. .
The devastating floods inundated a third of the country, with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif saying on Wednesday that parts of Pakistan “look like a sea”.
Losses increased further because agricultural crops were destroyed on 8.25 million acres compared to an initial assessment of 4.2 million acres, according to the report.
Cotton, rice and minor crops have been badly damaged and if the dewatering is not done properly, it can cause serious problems for the sowing of wheat, he said. Pakistan’s Ministry of National Food Security has been tasked with finalizing a summary to raise the minimum support price for wheat, according to the report.
The authorities held meetings with international donors and assured them that Pakistan would put in place an effective monitoring and evaluation system to use every penny to mitigate flood losses in a transparent manner, according to the report.
The Pakistan Ministry of Planning will reduce the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) by PKR 300 billion for the current financial year, according to the report.
These resources will be diverted to flood-affected areas, he added.
As floods continue to wreak havoc, Pakistani Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said earlier this week that the government would consider importing vegetables and other edibles from India.
UN chief Antonio Guterres said on Friday that flood-stricken Pakistan’s contribution to the climate crisis was minimal, but it was one of the countries hardest hit by its consequences, stressing that such calamities are expected to attack those most responsible for climate change.
Secretary-General António Guterres made the remarks during a visit with Prime Minister Sharif to the National Flood Response and Coordination Center in Islamabad, where he received a detailed briefing on the flood situation and rescue activities. and relief in the affected areas.
Guterres is currently in Pakistan for a two-day solidarity visit.
The UN chief’s visit to the flood-ravaged country comes less than two weeks after he appealed for $160 million in emergency funding.
Pakistan is expected to grow at a paltry 2.3% according to government estimates, although the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives set an ambitious target of 5% in June.

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