By Aamir Latif
KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – The Asian Development Bank (ADP) on Wednesday announced that it will provide “flood relief support” to the tune of $2.3 to $2.5 billion to help Pakistan cope with the devastation caused by unprecedented rains and floods in the South Asian country last month.
This was announced by the ADB’s Country Director for Pakistan, Yong Ye, in a meeting with the country’s newly-appointed Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the capital Islamabad, a statement from the Finance Ministry said.
The proposed support includes a $1.5 billion “countercyclical” loan from the ADB’s Building Resilience with Active Countercyclical Expenditures Program, which will be presented to the bank's board for approval this month, Ye was quoted as saying in the statement.
He also apprised the meeting about ongoing and future projects of ADB in different sectors, including social protection and food security, as well as the Country Partnership Strategy for Pakistan 2021-25.
Dar, for his part, informed the ADB delegation of the devastation caused by the recent floods in the country and its impact on the economy.
Thanking the ADB for its “persistent” support, he assured the delegation of “full cooperation by the government for swift execution of the ongoing and future programs.”
The loaning agency had already approved a $3 million grant for emergency relief efforts and the provision of food, medical supplies and other relief goods to the flood victims in Pakistan.
A devastating combination of torrential rains – 10 times heavier than usual – and super floods have killed nearly 1,700 people across Pakistan since mid-June, aside from inundating a third of the country.
The colossal devastation, mainly in terms of infrastructure and agriculture, will cost $30 billion to fix, according to government estimates.
The drenching monsoon, combined with massive floods, has damaged approximately 45% of the country's cropland, posing a serious threat to food security.
Monsoon spells often cause devastation across South Asia, however, climate change and global warming have increased their ferocity and unpredictability in recent years.
Pakistan is one of 10 countries that has been severely impacted by climate change and global warming.