U.N. chief calls for 'massive' help as Pakistan puts flood losses at $30 billion

U.N. chief calls for
# 09 September 2022 18:57 (UTC +04:00)

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for "massive" international support for flood-ravaged Pakistan while visiting the country on Friday, while Islamabad put the cost of flood-related damage at $30 billion, APA reports citing Reuters.

Record monsoon rains and glacier melt in northern mountains have triggered floods that have swept away houses, roads, railway tracks, bridges, livestock and crops, and killed more about 1,400 people.

Huge areas of the country are inundated and hundreds of thousands have been forced from their homes. The government says the lives of nearly 33 million people have been disrupted. Both the government and Guterres have blamed the flooding on climate change.

"I call on the international community that Pakistan needs massive financial support, as according to initial estimates the losses are around $30 billion", Guterres told a joint news conference in the capital Islamabad, after meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on his two-day visit.

Sharif said "Pakistan needs an infinite amount of funding" for its relief effort, adding the country "will remain in trouble as long as it doesn't receive sufficient international assistance".

Pakistan expects to cut its GDP growth projection for the financial year 2022-2023 to 3% from 5% due to the losses, planning minister Ahsan Iqbal told an earlier news conference.

The United Nations has launched an appeal for $160 million in aid to help Pakistan cope with the disaster.

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