Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Pakistan Floods: Signs of International Aid Picking Up

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Pakistan Floods: Signs of International Aid Picking Up

Article excerpt

But the money that is being pledged to help with the Pakistan floods will be dwarfed by the billions of dollars it will take for the country to recover, development experts say.

International assistance to Pakistan in the wake of devastating flooding that began last month is finally showing signs of picking up steam.

But the hundreds of millions of dollars that donor countries and relief organizations are coming up with will be dwarfed by the billions of dollars it will take to put Pakistan back on its feet, development experts warn.

The international community, Pakistani authorities reported Sunday, has pledged more than $800 million in aid, although part of that is in uncommitted pledges - the kind that often are never delivered. In addition, the United Nations announced that it had reached almost $320 million, or about 70 percent, of the $460 million it called for in an emergency appeal issued Aug. 11.

IN PICTURES: Pakistan floods

But as floodwaters continued Monday to extend their devastation into the country's breadbasket in Sindh and Punjab Provinces, Pakistani officials were in Washington on a mission to garner the assistance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for what is certain to be a long-term rebuilding program.

Saying the Pakistan floods constitute a "massive economic challenge" to a country already in delicate straits, the IMF indicated that the meetings beginning Monday would focus on Pakistan's short- and medium-term financial and economic prospects. Among the possibilities is either a tweaking or a complete redo of Pakistan's existing loan program with the IMF. A new emergency relief loan is also a possibility.

Pakistan had set a target growth rate of 4.5 percent for the year, but economists now estimate a rate of somewhere between zero and 3 percent. The main reason for that is the damage the flooding has already wreaked on Pakistan's dominant agricultural sector: More than 4 million acres of crops have been wiped out or heavily damaged, Pakistani officials estimate.

US officials who have toured a flood-ravaged Pakistan say the damage to agricultural lands and infrastructure stands out.

"The extent of the damage just visually was every bit as epic and devastating as you would imagine," said Daniel Feldman, the deputy special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, in briefing reporters Monday on his tour last week of Pakistan. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.