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Tuesday January 31, 2023

Pakistan asking for extra funds after devastating floods: report

PM Shehbaz says not looking for any kind of measure like a moratorium, but rather for additional funds

By Web Desk
October 19, 2022
Flood affected people carry belongings out from their flooded home in Shikarpur, Sindh province, on August 31, 2022. - AFP
Flood affected people carry belongings out from their flooded home in Shikarpur, Sindh province, on August 31, 2022. - AFP

After the devastating floods in Pakistan  pushed the country further down the economic crisis ladder, it will now ask international lenders for billions  of dollars in loan, as per a report in the Financial Times.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif clarified to the publication that Pakistan is not looking for any kind of measure [such as] a rescheduling or a moratorium, but is rather asking for  additional funds.

Pakistan  needs "huge sums of money" for "mega undertakings" such as rebuilding roads, bridges and other infrastructure damaged or washed away, PM Shehbaz was quoted as saying.

He did not, however, specify a figure on how much the country is aiming for, but repeated an estimate of $30 billion of flood losses, the report said.

The UN recently increased its humanitarian aid appeal for Pakistan  by five times to $816 million from $160 million amid a rise  in water-borne diseases due to the floods.

The European Union, too, raised  its flood assistance to 30 million euros ($29.57 million).

The estimated $30 billion in damage to the economy from the floods along with rising concerns about Islamabad's ability to raise money to meet external financing requirements has worsened the situation.

Meanwhile, the cost of imports, borrowing and debt servicing has also gone up because of a decline in the Pakistani rupee. It will worsen inflation, which is already running at a multi-decade high of 27.3%.