ADB to assist relief efforts with flood package

ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is preparing a flood relief package to assist Pakistan, stricken by devastating floods.

The ADB in a communique said that the bank will participate in funding for relief work in flood-ravaged areas of the country.

The bank will provide support to poor people, ailing women and children who suffered the ravages of flooding.

The ADB will provide help to farmers who suffered losses of crops and extend assistance in the cultivation of crops so they could stand on their feet, according to the statement.

The lender will also provide funds for the rebuilding of roads, bridges and other infrastructure destroyed in the floods. It will also extend support for the reconstruction of damaged houses, schools, hospitals and other amenity buildings.

The ADB in its recent report had placed Pakistan among high-risk countries prone to be affected by natural calamities, adding that the country every year suffered losses of US$2 billion from natural disasters.

The report shared by the ADB highlighted that floods have brought more destruction than earthquakes in Pakistan and every year natural calamities claim an average of 863 lives in the country.

The natural calamities have increased poverty in the country after floods destroy harvest, homes and other infrastructure. “There is only a limited insurance of harvest in Pakistan and only 272,000 farmers have got their harvest insured,” it reported.

It highlighted that floods further devastate underprivileged districts, increasing the poverty level in those areas. The report shared that most of the people below the poverty line live in Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The report suggested adopting and extending the disaster risk management approaches to evade damages from floods and earthquakes. The measures taken in Pakistan to deal with floods and earthquakes are non-satisfactory, it said.

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