THE catastrophic flooding has inflicted damage on a large scale. Magnitude of losses to different sectors is so high that the country which was already facing a dire economic situation cannot complete the process of rehabilitation from its own resources.
After damage to the crops, Pakistan is now also faced with the threat of food security. The government has prepared an assessment of economic losses ranging from ten to twelve point five billion dollars and got a recommendation to seek financial support from all possible avenues.
It is estimated that the unemployment rate might increase by 1 to 1.5 percent and would be standing at 6 percent to 7 or 7.5 percent in the post-flood scenario.
The prevalence of poverty has also gone up as eight to eleven million people slipped into the trap of poverty. In the post-flood situation, the poverty may go up from 21.9 percent to 30 percent.
These in fact are extraordinary times for the country and the figures of unemployment and poverty must ring alarm bells in the relevant quarters, especially the federal and provincial governments which, while cutting their unnecessary expenditure, must divert resources to protect the affected people and ensure provision of basic amenities to them in order to avert other issues such as the breakout of water borne diseases.
According to the UN Children’s Agency, more than three million children are in need of humanitarian assistance and stand at heightened risk of diseases, drowning and malnutrition.
Similarly pregnant women are also faced with health hazards. Since this is a climate-induced calamity, hence, greater responsibility rests with the international community to not only help Pakistan in the rescue and relief efforts but also in rebuilding the lives of affected population and reconstruction of damaged infrastructure.
They will have to practically demonstrate their solidarity with the flood victims. As the damage assessment completes after the floods, we will suggest the government to organize an international donors conference in the federal capital wherein a true picture of devastation be presented to the friendly and other major capitals in order to secure much needed cash assistance to bring normalcy back in the lives of flood-affected people.