Guterres urges IFIs, G20 to provide debt relief to Pakistan

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PM seeks world support as flood losses assessed at $32b

Observer Report
Sharm El Sheikh

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday appealed to the international financial institutions and G20 countries to provide debt relief to Pakistan to help its post flood reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.

Addressing a joint press conference along with Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif here, the UN Secretary General proposed a debt swap, exchanging the payment of debt with investment in rehabilitation of the flood affected people of Pakistan.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif who is in Sharm El Sheikh for the COP27 summit, told media that according to the latest estimates, Pakistan suffered losses of over $ 30 billion.

The UN Secretary General said that Pakistan was a middle income country and was not given the kind of debt relief and concessional funding it needed to tackle the adverse impact of climate change.

He appealed to the international financial institutions and the G 20 countries to create a mechanism for debt relief for middle income countries including Pakistan.

He underlined the need for defining a clear road map to deal with the disaster, by creating an institutional framework of financing.

Antonio Guterres said an international donor conference will be held for Pakistan, as the country needed massive support for rehabilitation of the people affected by floods.

The prime minister said the damages suffered in floods was also combined with a surge in poverty rates, with over 9 million of our people being pushed into a life of extreme poverty, with an additional 1.9 million families being pushed into multidimensional poverty.

He said the impact on the GDP will be 2.2 % just from the flooding, but extreme climate events such as heatwaves, forest fires, and rapidly melting glaciers had already created a 9.1 percent drag on Pakistan’s GDP annually.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday said that according to the Post Disaster Needs Assessment, the total estimated damage caused by the recent floods in Pakistan was over $32 billion that is around 10% of the country’s GDP.

The enormous task of rehabilitation and reconstruction would require substantial international support for Pakistan to build back greener, based on the model of sustainable development, he added.

The prime minister highlighted this as he met UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of COP-27 Summit being held in Sharm El-Sheikh, according to a statement issued by the PM Media Wing.

 

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