Floods projected to drag up to 9 million Pakistanis into poverty: World Bank

Floods projected to drag up to 9 million Pakistanis into poverty: World Bank


Between six and nine million Pakistanis are being dragged into poverty as a result of catastrophic monsoon floods linked to climate change, the World Bank said on Thursday.

Pakistan has been hit by unprecedented monsoon rains this year, killing 1,700 people, destroying two million homes and flooding a third of the nation.

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

According to a World Bank report, Pakistan’s poverty rate is expected to increase by 2.5 to 4 percentage points as a direct result of the floods.

Loss of jobs, livestock, crops, homes and school closures, along with the spread of disease and rising food costs threaten to plunge between 5.8 and 9 million people into poverty, it said.

“Reversing these negative socio-economic impacts is likely to take a long time,” she added.

According to data from the Asian Development Bank, around 20 percent already live below the poverty line in the country with 220 million inhabitants.

Before the floods began, Pakistan’s coffers were already in dire straits, with a cost of living crisis, a falling rupee and dwindling foreign exchange reserves.

The World Bank said inflation in the country is expected to stand at 23 percent for fiscal 2023.

Pakistan is responsible for less than one percent of global greenhouse gases but ranks high among nations prone to extreme weather conditions caused by climate change.

Credible research indicates that severe weather events due to man-made emissions are becoming more frequent and severe.

Islamabad has urged richer and more industrialized nations with larger carbon footprints to get involved in the relief efforts as a form of climate justice.

“We have no place to give our economy a stimulus package that would create jobs and give people the sustainable income they need,” Climate Secretary Sherry Rehman said on Tuesday.

“We are still in a long, unrelenting fight to save lives.”

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