Unprecedented floods call for international assistance and accelerating structural reforms to finance resilient reconstruction
WASHINGTON, October 14, 2022—The World Bank and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland hosted a high-level roundtable discussion on how to respond to the impacts of the catastrophic floods in Pakistan. The discussion was held during the 2022 Annual Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
The Pakistan ministerial delegation included Ministers Ishaq Dar, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and Ahsan Iqbal (via video), and they shared with the roundtable participants the extent of the impacts of the floods on livelihoods and infrastructure.
The Government of Pakistan, UNDP, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the European Union are preparing a Post-Disaster Needs Assessment to provide an early evaluation of the impacts of the 2022 floods situation, which is still evolving. This assessment will estimate the physical damages, economic losses, and costs of meeting recovery needs.
“The depth of the crisis in Pakistan is unprecedented. From the initial damage assessments, and indeed from my firsthand experience visiting affected communities, we know that the scale of the disaster is enormous, exceeding the damage of both the 2005 earthquake and the 2010 floods,” said Martin Raiser, the World Bank Vice President for South Asia. “International assistance will be critical to recovery, but it can only be effective in supporting a resilient and inclusive recovery if the Government maintains the momentum of its economic reforms.”
The meeting was attended by several donor countries, multilateral agencies, international financing institutions, and non-governmental organizations. Participants noted that the financing of the rehabilitation and reconstruction will require significant resources, in a context of severely constrained fiscal space. They also emphasized the importance of staying the course on critical structural reforms, including reforms to reduce losses in the power sector, better target support to those most in need, including the poor and vulnerable, and rationalize expenses and generate fiscal revenues and savings to finance reconstruction without putting at risk other development priorities.
“The international response so far has been rapid and extensive. The current focus is rightly on urgent humanitarian relief. But this crucial humanitarian aid alone will be insufficient for Pakistan’s recovery, and building back to a stronger more resilient position must be at the forefront of our minds,” said Nigel Casey, the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, United Kingdom. “In this challenging global economic climate, we must work together to support the long-term recovery, with adaptation and climate resilience at the core. This crisis provides the Government of Pakistan and the international donor community an opportunity to support Pakistan to take the necessary structural steps to build a sustainable, climate resilient and stable economy for the future.”