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Pakistan pleads for help with floods after ‘cameras have gone’


Pakistanforeign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari called on the world to continue helping the South Asian country recover from devastating floods on the eve of the pandemic. United Nation conference next month to lobby for funding.
Pakistan is facing an economic crisis with enough reserves for a month of imports, a dollar shortfall and a loan program with the International Monetary Fund stalled. Investors remain concerned about the nation’s ability to repay its debt, with long-term dollar bonds continuing to trade at a tough spot despite $1 billion worth of bond payments being made for the month. this.
“We find ourselves in an extremely difficult position as we are trying to manage our macroeconomic indicators with the IMF and provide imminent bailouts,” said Zardari, 34. out to people still in need in Pakistan, and plan for reconstruction and recovery. , said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Washington DC. “Unfortunately, the camera is gone, the attention is gone, but floodwaters are still there in many parts of my country.”
Unprecedented floods in Pakistan in the summer killed more than 1,700 people, flooded a third of the country and cut the country’s growth rate in half. Flooding has left about $32 billion in damage and damage to the national economy.
The United Nations says the global community has failed to provide enough funding following devastating floods in Pakistan and that could lead to the suspension of the food assistance program next month. According to Julien Harneis, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan, the joint UN and Pakistani appeal only raised about 30% of the $816 million requested. They will seek more money at a conference in Geneva, Switzerland, scheduled for January 9.
Pakistan has seen a delay in its latest IMF loan amid protracted discussions with the global body, which has demanded details on how much the country will spend this year. now to recover from a devastating flood. The IMF indicated that the negotiations were effective to revise the macroeconomic outlook after the floods, Pakistan resident representative Esther Perez Ruiz said in a statement this month.
“The entire government unanimously agrees that it is important for us to deal with international financial institutions — we want to see the fundamental reform needed for the overall health of our economy.” we,” Zardari speak. “But for now, our number one priority is to help those who are in extreme distress in the short, medium and long term.”
‘Eight months of fury’
Pakistan is also facing new political instability, with members of the opposition Imran Khan plans to dissolve two of the four provincial councils later this week to push the government to announce new elections. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s government, which came to power in April after ousting Khan through a vote of no confidence in the federal parliament, in retaliation, has submitted a motion of no confidence to Punjab Provincial Council.
Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party and son of Benazir Bhutto – the first female prime minister of a Muslim country to be assassinated in 2007 – called Khan “Machiavellian” and criticized him for not cooperating. with the coalition government to help provide financing. relief.
“It should have been not only my priority but everyone’s priority to step up, put aside partisan politics and unite to overcome this challenge,” Zardari said. “Unfortunately, Mr. Kahn has been raging since the eighth month that he is not prime minister.”

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