Floods losses reach $30 bn; external debt needs restructuring: Irfan Sheikh

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Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President FPCCI, has apprised  that all bilateral & multilateral external debts of Pakistan need immediate restructuring on soft terms as the total economic cost of unprecedented floods in Pakistan has surpassed $30 billion. He reiterated his stance that despite having a population of 220 million  and contribution of less than 1 percent in global carbon emissions,  Pakistan has paid the highest price for the global warming.

Now, it is  the utmost responsibility of international community to swing into  action and join the relief efforts without any further ado. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh highlighted that around 2.8 million people out of  total 33 million flood-affectees and internally displaced people (IDPs) are seriously ill due to various pandemics that have broken out –  including, dengue, malaria, cholera, typhoid, serious skin infections  and other water-borne & contagious diseases.

The world as a whole will  be responsible as Pakistan is facing the brunt of the global misdeeds  vis-à-vis climate change; if they do not listen to the cries of the  dying, he added. FPCCI Chief has proposed that the government should negotiate the  restructuring of external debts with IMF, World Bank, ADB, IDB, Paris  Club and friendly countries to create fiscal space for flood relief &  rebuilding activities.

He also extended his advisory services from the  platform of FPCCI in formulating the strategies to successfully  negotiate with various lenders. Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has called for adopting austerity measures at  every governmental level and redirecting all non-developmental budgets  to the relief & rehabilitation – be it provincial & federal.

He also  expressed his optimism that the world would be ready to provide aid and  debt relief, provided we devise a robust, diligent and pragmatic plan  for the relief & rehabilitation; and, ensure efficient, fair&  transparent disbursement of relief resources. We must send out the right  optics to the world, he added.

 

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