Pakistan floods: International donors pledge over $9bn
Donors from all over the world have contributed more than $9 billion (£7.4 billion) to help Pakistan rebuild from the devastating floods that ravaged the country last year.
More than half of Pakistan’s estimated $16.3 billion recovery budget is represented by it. The 2017 floods claimed the lives of at least 1,700 people, while eight million more were left homeless. While Pakistan is still discussing the details of the next instalment of a global bailout, the commitments have been made.
At a climate summit jointly hosted by the UN and held in Geneva, Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan’s state minister for foreign affairs, said, “Today has truly been a day which offers us great optimism.”
The world will support those who experience any kind of national tragedy, she continued, and this is the clear message from the world. Some of the largest funders included the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, and Saudi Arabia. Additionally, the US, China, France, and the European Union all contributed.
It followed a demand from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for significant financial contributions to aid Pakistan in recovering from what he called a “climate tragedy of historic scale.”
Pakistan reiterated its dedication to finishing a rescue programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) outside of the meeting.
The $1.1 billion release that was initially scheduled to take place in November last year has still not been approved by the IMF.
The 220 million-person nation has been working for years to stabilise its economy.
The government mandated last week that marketplaces and shopping malls close at an earlier time each day in order to save electricity.
The majority of Pakistan’s energy needs are met by imported fossil fuels. The country’s already precarious finances came under additional strain last year as a result of the rise in global oil costs.
The nation needs foreign currency, particularly US dollars, to cover the cost of those energy imports. The Pakistani government’s foreign exchange holdings, however, decreased by almost 50% last year.