Floods may decrease Pakistan's growth to 3% from 5%

Floods may decrease Pakistan’s growth to 3% from 5%: According to media sources on Saturday, Pakistan may be forced to lower its GDP growth rate for the fiscal year 2022–2023 from 5% to 3% due to the significant losses caused by Pakistan’s devastating monsoon rains and floods, the conflict in Ukraine, and other reasons.

Major General Zafar Iqbal, head of the National Flood Response and Coordination Centre (NFRCC), told Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that at least one-third of Pakistan was underwater and the overall losses would surpass USD 30 billion.

Iqbal told the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan that various issues, including the floods, the delayed clearance of IMF funding, and the economic crisis in the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, will reduce Pakistan’s GDP growth by 2%.

Separately, the minister quoted in the Dawn daily as saying that although the 2010 “Super Floods” impacted over 20 million people. The current flash floods have affected over 33 million nationwide, with over 0.6 million people staying in rescue camps.

Mountain torrents were a problem since there was no infrastructure to handle the catastrophe, which led to significant losses in terms of crops, animals, infrastructure, and human life, he added.

An evaluation survey on relief activities in the provinces will begin by Monday, the NFRCC spokesman said, adding that coordinated efforts between civil administration, the military, and NGOs, including the UN humanitarian organizations, were in full motion.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) claimed that 1,396 people had died from the devastating floods, and over 12,700 people had wounded.

According to the NDMA’s most recent status assessment, approximately 1.7 million residences have been wholly or partly destroyed by floods, along with over 6,600 km of highways and 269 bridges.

According to its statistics, 81 districts (including 32 in Balochistan, 23 in Sindh, and 17 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) still deemed “calamity-hit.”

On his last two-day visit to Pakistan, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also scheduled to visit the flood-affected regions of Sindh and Balochistan provinces to assess the disaster’s damages and continue rescue and relief operations.

The secretary-general met the prime minister and other officials on the first day of his tour, and he also went to a briefing. He said that while Pakistan contributed little to global warming, the country severely affected.

The international community should therefore offer to assist it. According to officials, unprecedented monsoon rains over the previous three decades caused enormous floods that destroyed the infrastructure and way of life for millions of people in rural regions.