In Geneva, international donors join Pakistan’s prime minister and the UN secretary-general to approve a recovery plan after the “monsoon on steroids.”
In response to Pakistan’s devastating floods last summer, which UN secretary general António Guterres called “a monsoon on steroids,” the international community has pledged $10.5 billion (£8.77 billion) to assist in the country’s reconstruction.
The commitments were made on Monday in Geneva, Switzerland, at the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan, which was organized by Guterres and Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif.
Sharif has stated that Pakistan needs a minimum of $16.3 billion over the next three years to start the process of recovery and reconstruction, with domestic resources covering half of the cost.
The Islamic Development Bank Group made the largest commitment on Monday in the amount of $4.2 billion. Martin Raiser, vice president of the World Bank for South Asia, announced a $2 billion contribution. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Saudi Arabia, the EU, Japan, and China were additional contributors.
One-third of Pakistan was submerged in floodwaters as a result of the worst flooding Pakistan has ever experienced, which began in June of last year and lasted until August. A food crisis and significant financial losses resulted from the inundation of more than 4 million acres of agricultural land.
At least 33 million people were impacted by the catastrophe, which claimed more than 17,000 lives and left 8 million homeless.
Particularly negatively impacted were women and children. Up to 4 million children still reside close to contaminated and stagnant flood waters, according to Unicef. Between July and December 2022, compared to the same period in 2021, the charity reported that the number of children in flood-affected areas who were severely acutely malnourished nearly doubled. It also mentioned how children’s acute respiratory infections have become much more common in flood-affected areas.
Malaria positivity rates were running at 50% in Sindh and eastern Balochistan in December, despite the colder season, when malaria infections would be expected to decline, according to a warning issued on Monday by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
Edward Taylor, MSF’s emergency coordinator in northern Sindh and eastern Balochistan, stated that “we are still in an emergency phase.”
At the conference on Monday, Sharif stated that the world was at a “turning point in history,” adding, “It’s not just a question of how to survive… it is how we uphold our honor and dignity by making progress toward our goals and feeling proud of ourselves.
No country deserves to go through what happened to Pakistan, Guterres proclaimed in a plea for assistance in rebuilding that nation.
He said at the conference that Pakistan suffers from both the effects of climate chaos and a global financial system that lacks morality. Above all, we must acknowledge the heinous injustice of the loss and harm incurred by developing nations as a result of climate change. Go to Pakistan if there is any doubt regarding the loss and damage.
Floods struck Pakistan at a time when it was already going through an economic crisis, and the country is still struggling financially, which has led to record-high inflation.
According to Sharif, his administration has created a thorough “4RF” framework to promote “recovery, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and resilience.” “I’d like to state this categorically. Every dollar will be spent in an open and accountable manner. I have set up a third-party verification system to ensure that every dollar is tracked and invested in the needs of those who have been severely harmed by these fierce floods, the man said.
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