Initial economic losses from Pakistan floods at least $10 bln: Planning minister
The initial economic losses from floods in Pakistan could reach at least $10 billion, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal told Reuters in an interview on Monday.
Unprecedented and historical flash floods caused by abnormal monsoon rains have washed away roads, crops, infrastructure and bridges, killing at least 1,000 people in recent weeks and affecting more than 33 million.
“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,” Iqbal said.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
The minister said it might take five years to rebuild and rehabilitate the South Asian nation of 200 million people, which will be facing an acute challenge of food shortage.
He said 45 percent of cotton crops had been washed away in addition to huge damage to vegetables and fruit and rice fields.
“So far we have lost 1,000 human lives. There is damage to almost nearly one million houses,” Iqbal said at his office.
“People have actually lost their complete livelihood,” he said.
Pakistan has already sought international help to deal with the overwhelming floods, and some countries have already sent in supplies and rescue teams.
Huge relief operation under way as Pakistan flood death toll rises to 1,061
Pakistan foreign minister says help needed after ‘overwhelming’ floods
Video: Pakistan floods force tens of thousands from homes overnight