Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that the terrible rains and floods in the country last summer had killed 1,700 people. A large area the size of Switzerland was submerged and 33 million people were affected. This number is more than the people living in most European countries.
Shehbaz Sharif wrote an article for the Guardian newspaper in which he urged the global community to help Pakistan.
“International attention has receded, but the waters have not. Large parts of Sindh and Balochistan provinces remain inundated. The number of food-insecure people in Pakistan has doubled to 14 million; another 9 million have been pushed into extreme poverty. These flooded areas now look like a huge series of permanent lakes, transforming forever the terrain and the lives of people living there. No amount of pumps can remove this water in less than a year; and by July 2023, the worry is that these areas may flood again,” Shehbaz Sharif wrote.
He also expressed his deep concern over the fact that Pakistan is vulnerable to climate change and similar floods may take place again.
“Pakistan is suffering not just from flooding but from recurring climate extremes – earlier in spring 2022, the country was in the grip of a scorching, drought-aggravating heatwave that caused forest fires in the west. The fact that some of the same areas that received record temperatures were subsequently submerged underlines the sharp swings in weather patterns that are becoming a norm,” he rued.
Shehbaz Sharif also claimed that Pakistan has suffered a financial loss equal to a 10th of its GDP.
“More than 2 million homes, 14,000km of roads and 23,000 schools and clinics have been destroyed. A post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA), carried out in collaboration with the World Bank and the EU, estimated that the damage caused by floods exceeded $30bn – a 10th of Pakistan’s entire GDP,” he wrote.
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