12 Million at Risk of Falling Below Poverty Line as Flood Losses Reach $28 Billion

Pakistan’s Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) has revealed that new estimates now place Pakistan’s flood-induced economic losses at $28 billion, while the poverty rate has surged by five percent.

Around 9-12 million people are at risk of falling below the poverty line and about 1.8-2 million have already lost their employment to the floods.

According to the federal government, it may take them around up to 10 years for long-term restoration of the flooded regions and at the same time, inflation might increase between 23-25 percent during this fiscal year (FY).

Furthermore, Sindh sustained the most losses, amounting to $5.9 billion, while Balochistan lost $3.04 billion, Punjab $0.55 billion, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) $0.54 billion, Azad Jammu and Kashmir $0.02 billion, and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) $0.03 billion, as per the reports.

Planning Commission’s Chief Economist, Dr. Muhammad Nadeem Javaid, disclosed these new estimates at a consultative meeting with the country’s acclaimed economists and delegates of foreign donors.

Note here that total losses incurred by all four provinces and federal territories amount to $10.09 billion, while accumulated losses stand at $28 billion including $2.9 billion losses faced by federal ministries and divisions.

Pakistan Railways (PR) experienced the most losses with $2.4 billion, followed by the Ministry of Housing and Works (MoHW) with $20 million, National Highway Authority (NHA) and Pakistan Post together lost $0.2 billion, and the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) suffered $0.29 billion losses.

Moreover, floods have also severely impacted major crops such as cotton, rice, maize, and sugarcane, while over a million large and small livestock has died of floods so far.

Meanwhile, total export losses in the external sector are likely to cross $3 billion in FY23 due to low global demand and lesser export of rice, cotton, fruit, and vegetables. On the other hand, the import of raw cotton, wheat, and vegetables is projected to increase. Besides, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is predicted to be around 1.8-2.3 percent against the annual target of five percent, amounting to an income loss of Rs. 2.4 trillion.