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Ahsan Iqbal: Flood relief activities to continue for the next two years

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal stated on Thursday that the country’s relief efforts following devastating floods may last for the next two years.

This month, terrible floods devastated significant areas of Pakistan, killing more than 1,600 people and causing infrastructure damage that is estimated to be worth close to $30 billion.

Iqbal discussed the excessive rainfall and flooding that have “severely damaged” the rural areas with anchorpersons and blamed it on climate change.

“Natural disasters are a result of climate change, however, we are coming up with plans to deal with them in the future. For now, the government has allocated Rs40 billion for 20 underdeveloped districts.”

The planning minister remarked that civil society organisations are providing “important services” by assisting with relief operations, from erecting tent cities to offering education in camps.

The minister stated that the military, provincial governments, and district administrations are all actively helping with relief efforts.

“The floods have caused wide-scale destruction. The nation will have to unite and help those affected by floods,” the ministry of planning prompted.

According to the country’s disaster management organisation, up to 1,666 people have died in flash floods, including 615 children and 333 women.

In addition to the lives lost, over two million homes have been demolished, and over one million animals, a significant source of revenue for rural households, have perished in the floods.

Non-governmental organisations are working in flood-affected areas, and international aid is also slowly pouring in, but neither is doing enough to lessen the damage caused by the calamity.

Due to the local currency’s decline against the dollar and Pakistan’s dwindling foreign exchange reserves, there are concerns about Pakistan’s ability to make timely debt payments as a result of the floods.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari have pushed for climate justice in this regard to make up for the damage since the disaster was caused by climate change, and Pakistan has some of the lowest carbon emissions globally.

Pavan Manzoor
Written By

Pavan Manzoor is an experienced content writer , editor and social media handler along with a track record of youth-oriented activities in Pakistan and abroad. She was selected as a fully-funded delegate as a leadership fellow in Turkey. She also led a team of 5 volunteers at the week-long Young Professionals Fellowship in Maldives. She is also a member of the Youth Standing Committee on Higher Education.

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