$10.7b pledged as Pakistan races against time

Climate Resilient Pakistan conference in Geneva calls for support amid post-flood challenges

January 09, 2023
PM Shehbaz Sharif speaks with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at their joint news conference in Geneva. PHOTO: REUTERS


Pakistan on Monday secured over $10 billion in pledges from international financial institutions, donor agencies and development partners for the rehabilitation, recovery and reconstruction of the flood-affected areas at an international conference.

The International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan which was co-hosted by the government of Pakistan and the United Nations in Geneva.

“The message from the world is clear: the world will stand by those who go through any natural calamities and will not leave them alone," Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar said at the closing of the conference in Geneva.

The major pledges made at the conference, included $4.2 billion from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), $2 billion from the World Bank, $1.5 billion from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), $1 billion from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and $1 billion from Saudi Arabia.

Officials from some 40 countries as well as private donors and international financial institutions attended the meeting in what is seen as a major test for who pays for climate disasters as Islamabad seeks help covering around half of a total recovery bill of $16.3 billion.

The conference called for securing global support and forging long-term partnerships to help the country cope with the challenges of the devastating floods of 2022.

Also read: Geneva moot to take up plight of flood-hit people

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, flanked by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, relayed the call for supporting the needs of 33 million people displaced by the country’s worst flood disaster.

Earlier, Guterres called for massive investments to help Pakistan recover from what he called a "climate disaster of monumental scale". "Pakistan is doubly victimised by climate chaos and a morally bankrupt global financial system," he added.

The UN chief called for sweeping reforms in the international financial system to allow for low-income countries vulnerable to climate calamities to receive adequate funding from richer nations.

He said the international financial system was skewed to benefit wealthy countries and should be reformed to ensure a more equitable distribution of resources.

"It is very clear that the present system is biased," he told reporters in a strongly worded critique of what he called a "morally corrupt global financial system".

"The system was conceived by a group of rich countries and naturally it basically benefits rich countries. We need a new debt architecture and we need to make sure that debt relief is effectively provided by the system even to middle-income countries that are on the verge of very difficult, very dramatic situations, including suspending payments," Guterres added.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in his address, mentioned Pakistan’s Resilient Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Framework (4RF), which laid out a multisectoral strategy for rehabilitation and reconstruction in a climate-resilient and inclusive manner.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Paris was ready to support Pakistan in its talks with financial institutions.

“France will continue to provide expertise and some financial support to the country,” Macron said in a video address to the conference.

The prime minister said with the support of the United Nations, the WB Group, the ADB, and the EU, Pakistan had prepared a Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), which “estimates flood damages to exceed $14.9 billion, economic losses over $15.2 billion and reconstruction needs over $16.3 billion”.

Also read: Pakistan identifies $8.2b flood funding gap

He expressed profound gratitude to Guterres for co-chairing the conference and for his continued support for the people of Pakistan suffering in the aftermath of the floods.

The prime minister said floods disrupted the education of 2.6 million, including one million girls. “We are racing against time,” he said, stressing that relief work needed to continue as some areas of Sindh needed drainage of water.

He mentioned that the broad contours set up in the 4RF plan reflected priority for recovery and reconstruction, with a minimum requirement of $16.3 billion.

He said resilience was required to recover from colossal damages and ensure a sustainable future for the livelihood.

“Pakistan needs a new coalition of the willing to save lives,” he said, urging solidarity and long-term support for the people of Pakistan to renew their hope.




Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ