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Banks & countries pledge $10bn to rebuild Pakistan after floods

A recovery fund of $10bn has been amassed by an international community of countries and banks to rebuild Pakistan following last summer’s devastating floods.

Amassing essential funds to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change became one of the most contentious issues of COP27.

A loss and damage agreement was eventually established in principle at the conference, though a sum was never actually put in writing. Months later, Representatives from 24 countries – including many of those in the G20 – are still deciding where the money will come from, and how it will be distributed.

One such country in desperate need of sizable financial support is Pakistan. Catastrophic floods spanning back to last summer submerged one-third of the country, decimating its agricultural lands and creating both food and financial crises.

Since June 2022, the unfounded weather event described as a ‘monsoon on steroids’ has killed over 1,700 people, left 8 million homeless, and caused devastation amounting to $30bn. Sickness continues to soar in the most heavily waterlogged regions, and malaria infection rates are on the rise.

The ceaseless rainfall throughout this period is said to have been made 50% more severe due to human-induced climate change, according to an international cohort of scientists, and thus global delegates have rightly been under pressure to respond.

The ongoing emergency culminated in crunch meetings at the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan in Geneva on Monday.

Here, it was revealed that $10bn in total has been committed; including pledges of $4.2bn from the Islamic Development Bank Group, $2bn from the South Asia World Bank, and varying outlays from Saudi Arabia, the EU, Japan, and China.

Prior to the emergency negotiations, host UN secretary general Antonio Guterres stated: ‘We need to be honest about the brutal injustice of loss and damage suffered by developing countries because of climate change. If there is any doubt about loss and damage, go to Pakistan.’

The nation’s prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, took the floor to demand a minimum of $16.3bn over the next three years to see through the arduous recovery and reconstruction process – half of which, he assured, will be met by domestic resources.

To ensure that wealthy nations can’t question the integrity of Pakistan’s plan, given it was in economic turmoil prior to the floods, Sharif has put an official framework in place with third-party regulators to account for every investment made.

Looking at the global picture, Pakistan’s case may be extreme, but it is one emergency among hundreds. The projected economic cost of loss and damage by 2030 is projected to be $400bn a year by one study.

Just last November, it was revealed that the island nation of Tuvalu is set to be digitally replicated within the metaverse to avoid disappearing altogether. This is really where we’ve come to.

The dangers of climate change are no longer some far off, tenuous prospect. Millions are feeling the strain with no respite in sight and we need action over promises now.