Pakistan has received more than $9 billion in pledges for reconstruction aid

Pakistan has received more than $9 billion in pledges for reconstruction aid

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Pakistan on Monday secured more than $9 billion in international aid pledges to rebuild after last year’s devastating floods and wants to serve as a role model for future victims of the climate crisis.

We may be the first country to see a third of its area underwater, and unfortunately we won’t be the last. Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari warned in an interview with Agence France-Presse, at the conclusion of the international donors’ conference held Monday in Geneva.

The success of the conference indicates that Pakistan It is in some way the model of the future He confirmed after presenting a detailed plan for the country’s sustainable recovery.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, at the head of a large delegation, affirmed that his country is engaged in ” A race against time to meet the enormous needs.

In July, the country was hit by massive floods that killed 1,700 people and affected more than 33 million people.

Mechanisms for monitoring the use of funds

The commitments made on Monday, in the form of donations and loans in particular, represent just over half of the $16.3 billion (€15.3 billion) considered necessary to rebuild the country and, in particular, make it more resistant to the onslaught of climate change.

France has promised projects worth 360 million euros to help with reconstruction, but has also promised an additional 10 million euros for emergency aid. The United States and China pledged an additional $100 million, and the Islamic Development Bank Group pledged $4.2 billion in financing over the next three years.

Farooq Tariq, general secretary of the Kisan Rabita Committee (PKRC), a network of Pakistani peasant organisations, believes the sums are welcome but insufficient given the scale of the damage. Very active in terms of climate, Farouk Tarek demonstrated at COP27 in Egypt to demand increased international aid for his country after massive floods.

“It’s good and we thank the international community for this support, but it’s a peanut compared to the extent of the damage we’ve suffered. The economic losses have been estimated at $30 billion. 33 million people have lost their main income or had to leave their homes… and thousands of them are still on the streets. We’ve I visited these provinces many times and I saw that water is still there in many places in Sindh province.There is no more cultivation.70% of seeds have been lost in Sindh and Balochistan provinces.So the money should go to farmers and to rebuild houses.It should not be used “Money to pay off farmers’ loans. Pakistan is going through a severe economic crisis at the moment… We are afraid that the money that comes in will be used to compensate the IMF or the World Bank. We will protest loud and clear if this is the case.”

Faced with the risks of embezzlement of these huge sums, the United Nations and Pakistan promised mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the use of funds. An international support group, in which France would like to participate, will accompany the implementation of the international windfall.

Sees the head of Pakistani diplomacy “ opportunity in this crisis “and see that” Now we can invest in infrastructure in the most disadvantaged areas and stimulate their growth.

Last summer’s devastating floods – which killed more than 1,700 people and affected more than 33 million – have further strained Pakistan’s economy, plunging the country into a dire financial situation.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who also came to the shores of Lake Geneva, called immediately ” huge investments and reforming the international financial system, which he denounced Moral bankruptcy to help Pakistan. He lamented that this international financial system does not provide sufficient assistance to middle-income countries, especially by reducing their debt, when they need it most to meet climate challenges.

Shahbaz Sharif also urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ease pressure on his country. ” I am constantly trying to convince them to give us a break And he insisted that in the reforms required by the fund to disburse a new tranche of financial aid and thus reassure the markets. Finance Minister Isaac Dar is scheduled to meet a delegation from the International Monetary Fund in Geneva.

And the fund isn’t the only one with requirements. The United Kingdom indicated that Pakistani taxpayer It must bear its share of the burden, the World Bank warned: A truly resilient recovery will not be possible without additional fiscal and structural reforms. However, the bank promised a loan of two billion.

Losses and damages

Pakistan, the fifth most populous country in the world with a population of 216 million, is responsible for less than 1% of greenhouse gas emissions. But it is one of the regions most vulnerable to the growing number of extreme weather events.

The country is also one of those who, at COP27 in November, supported the creation of the “Loss and Damage” fund, which aims to support countries of the South in dealing with the consequences of global warming. ” When in doubt about “loss and damage”, go to Pakistan Country, dA double victim of climate chaos and the morally bankrupt global financial system Mr. Guterres fired.

Also Read: Climate: Understanding Loss and Damage Big Expectations from the South in COP27 (1/2)

Of the $16.3 billion needed to fund Pakistan’s recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction plan, the government estimates it can finance half through its own budget and public-private partnerships, but needs the international community to pay for the rest.

(with AFP)

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