Pakistan floods estimated to have caused at least $10B worth of damage
As flash floods caused by record monsoon rains wash away roads, crops, homes, bridges and other infrastructure in Pakistan, the country’s planning minister says early estimates show that at least $10 billion of damage have been caused, according to a report by the BBC.
"I think it is going to be huge. So far, [a] very early, preliminary estimate is that it is big, it is higher than $10 billion," Pakistan's planning minister Ahsan Iqbal told the Reuters news agency.
Mr Iqbal said the country would face serious food shortages in the coming weeks and months and believed that the floods were worse than those that hit Pakistan in 2010, the deadliest in the country's history which left more than 2,000 people dead.
To address food shortages, finance minister Miftah Ismail said Pakistan could consider importing vegetables from arch-rival India.
On Monday, the country's climate change minister Sherry Rehman described the situation as a "climate-induced humanitarian disaster of epic proportions."
"Literally, one-third of Pakistan is underwater right now, which has exceeded every boundary, every norm we've seen in the past," Ms Rehman told the AFP news agency.
Even before the floods Pakistan was suffering from an economic crisis and had been negotiating with the IMF over a $1.1 billion bailout.
Official figures released in recent weeks showed that the country had only enough foreign currencies in reserve for about a month of imports as its economy struggles with an annual inflation rate of almost 25 percent.
The devastating floods have killed at least 1,136 people and affected more than 33 million, over 15% of the country's population.
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