Not possible to implement IMF conditions currently: Ahsan Iqbal

Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said on Friday that currently it is not possible to comply with the conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the country is going through a difficult situation due to devastating floods.

The minister made the comments at the launch of a new report titled 'Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA)' which was launched by Iqbal, Minister for Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Ayaz Sadiq, and Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman.

Iqbal further also requested the IMF to review the strict conditions that have been set for Pakistan, adding that the international community should express solidarity with Pakistan in this regard.

“I, as a Planning Minister of the Pakistan government request the IMF to review such harsh conditionality,” the minister said.

“As the support and help will take time from the international community, at least the government of Pakistan should be able to mobilize its own resources to help its own people,” he said adding, “I think this condition is very harsh and very unjust because we need to mobilize our own resources to be able to meet the needs of rehabilitation and reconstruction”.

Post-flood reconstruction

According to the PDNA report, the country needs at least $16.3 billion for rehabilitation and reconstruction of the devastation caused by the floods and to support Pakistan’s adaptation to climate change as well as the overall resilience of the country to future climate shocks.

Read: Flood relief activities to continue for two years: Iqbal

It further stated that estimated total damages are expected to exceed $14.9 billion, and total economic losses to reach about $15.2 billion.

The report also highlighted that the worst hit sectors were housing; agriculture and livestock; and transport and communications as damages reach up to $5.6 billion, $3.7 billion, and $3.3 billion respectively.

The assessment furthered that the worst-hit province by the floods was Sindh followed by Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and Punjab.

The post-flood assessment was led by the planning ministry and was conducted jointly with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Union (EU), the United Nations agencies with technical facilitation by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the World Bank.

After effects of the unprecedented floods

Pakistan has been lashed by unprecedented monsoon rains this year which killed 1,700, devastated two million homes, and put a third of the nation underwater.

Also read: Cataclysmic floods in Pakistan kill 1,100, including 380 children

Eight million people remain displaced, living in ramshackle tent cities and scattered camps near the stagnant lakes which swallowed their belongings and livelihoods.

Flood victims gather to receive food handouts in a camp, following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Sehwan, Pakistan September 14, 2022. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

The PDNA report added that the country’s poverty rate is expected to rise between 3.7 to 4.0 percentage points, dragging between 8.4 and 9.1 million more people below the poverty line.

The report also estimated that the devastating floods are expected to have a significant adverse impact on output, which will vary substantially by region and sector.

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