Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal stated on Tuesday that Pakistan needs more than $10 billion to reconstruct and repair infrastructure that has been harmed by the monsoon rains that have resulted in catastrophic flooding.
“Infrastructure has suffered massive damage, particularly in the sectors of telecommunications, highways, agriculture, and livelihoods,” he said.
Iqbal’s comments are a repeat of his assessment from a day earlier, when he told Reuters that he thought the cost of the destruction brought on by the floods will be “massive.”
“So far, [a] very early, preliminary estimate is that it is big, it is higher than $10 billion,” Iqbal said, adding that there was damage to almost nearly one million houses”.
“People have actually lost their complete livelihoods,” he continued, rating the recent floods worst than those that hit Pakistan in 2010.
The nation would likely need five years to rebuild and recover, according to the minister, and in the short term it will face severe food shortages.
Separately, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said that flooding will have an economic impact of at least $10 billion, or nearly 3% of the nation’s gross domestic product.
The estimates come as Pakistan struggles to recover from the effects of torrential rains and record floods, which have killed over 1,000 people, affected more than 33 million people, or over 15 percent of the 220 million people living there, and submerged the majority of the nation.
Moreover, the country faces an imminent food security crisis, with crops damaged on a large scale and livestock swept away.