Floods inflicted $3.7 billion loss in Sindh, Balochistan

ADB/WB report says half of the losses in Sindh were agriculture related.


Shahbaz Rana March 02, 2012

ISLAMABAD:


An unreleased joint study by the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank has assessed that the floods in 2011, which ravaged several southern districts of Sindh and parts of Balochistan, caused a loss of $3.7 billion to the country, sources told The Express Tribune.


The Damage and Needs Assessment (DNA) report, carried out by the two lending agencies on request of the government of Pakistan, evaluated the losses to be much lower than the initial estimates that put the damages at $7 billion. The report estimates the damages in Sindh at approximately $3.5 billion, according to sources, adding that over 94 per cent of the losses had been reported in Sindh.

The report has not yet been made public as the World Bank has submitted it to Economic Affairs Division for final review.  The worst affected districts in Sindh were Mirpurkhas, Badin, Tando Muhammad Khan, Umerkot and Sanghar.

Last month, the United Nations launched a $440 million aid appeal for the early recovery of people affected by last year’s floods in Sindh and Balochistan. The appeal was launched to carry out 215 projects in 9 sectors under Early Recovery Framework, jointly prepared by the United Nations and Pakistan. However, an earlier appeal by the UN, launched to seek assistance during the emergency phase of the 2011 floods, only succeeded in securing less than half of the total estimated requirements.

According to sources, the reconstruction costs, which were estimated at $2.7 billion by the study, were valued much lower as most of the losses were crop related. According to the report, half of the losses in Sindh were agriculture related, sources revealed. Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Dr Waqar Masood was not available for comment.

Earlier, briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance, Finance Secretary Abdul Wajid Rana had claimed that the last two floods in the country had caused a total loss of $14 billion, adding that the annual growth target had been downward adjusted to 3.6 per cent after last year’s floods.

However, Rana went on to add that preliminary crop production had shown healthy signs with indications that growth may touch 4 per cent by the end of the year. Against revised estimates of 1.5 per cent, the trend indicates that agriculture output may grow to 3.5 per cent due to bumper cotton and sugarcane crops. The agriculture sector accounts for over one-fifth of the gross domestic product.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2012.

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