Bhutto-Zardari, the son of assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, said the economic impact was still being assessed, but that some estimates had put it at US$4 billion. Given the impact on infrastructure and people’s livelihoods, he said he expected the total figure would be much higher.
Pakistan’s central bank had already flagged the record monsoon rainfall as a threat to economic output given its impact on agriculture.
Pakistan would this week launch an appeal asking United Nations member states to contribute to relief efforts, Bhutto-Zardari said, and the country needed to look at how it would handle the longer term impacts of climate change.
“In the next phase, when we look towards rehabilitation and reconstruction, we will have conversations not only with the IMF, but with the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank,” Bhutto-Zardari said.
Bhutto-Zardari said after relief efforts, the country would have to look at how to develop infrastructure that was more resistant to both floods and droughts and address the huge changes faced by the agriculture sector.
“Despite the fact that Pakistan contributes negligible amounts to the overall carbon footprint … we are devastated by climate disasters such as these time and time again, and we have to adapt within our limited resources, however we can, to live in this new environment,” he said.