Climate change and floods in Pakistan

Pakistan is among the ten countries most vulnerable to the consequences of the climate change crisis. This year, the country has experienced severe heat waves which brought pre-monsoon rains and, together with the impact of greater and faster melting of glaciers in the north of the country and heavy rains which continued quite frequently and on a widespread basis, both have meant that many parts of the country experience severe flooding.

A recent news article, ‘Floods Affect Over 30 Million: Government’ highlighted in this regard ‘The historic monsoon rains and floods in the country have affected over 30 million people over the past weeks, said Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman. said on Thursday, calling the situation “a climate-induced humanitarian disaster of epic proportions”.

Pakistan is already suffering from a severe balance of payments crisis, mainly due to high food and oil import costs which are fueling the high import bill, which on the other hand has also contributed significantly to a high level of imported inflation and cost pressures in the country. Added to this are severe floods, which have not only seriously affected the lives and property of people in many parts of the country, but also added to the pandemic and the global supply shock, causing high inflation. and an increase in poverty levels.

A recent article published by Bloomberg “Pakistan Seeks Aid as Deadly Floods Threaten Fragile Economy” pointed out in this regard that “Pakistan has appealed to international donors for assistance amid unrelenting rains precedent trigger a humanitarian crisis and threaten the economy of the South Asian nation”. According to Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman, flash floods caused by heavy monsoon showers have killed 913 people since June and flooded crops across the country. She said thousands of people are now without shelter or food and the nation lacks relief goods.

That said, the initial response in terms of promised multilateral aid of half a billion dollars would indeed be lukewarm. A recent article in the press, “International institutions announce $500 million in aid,” noted “International organizations and financial institutions on Thursday announced more than $500 million in immediate aid for flood victims in call from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Damage to crops, such as rice and cotton, will not only add to the already very serious challenge of food shortages, both domestically and internationally, but in the case of Pakistan, the fall in cotton exports is likely due to the fall in agricultural production, will also reduce putting additional pressure on the already weak situation of foreign exchange reserves in which the country finds itself. The shortage of cotton production will also likely have a negative impact on the already tight global cotton supply situation.

The Prime Minister chaired an important meeting with international donors here to help flood victims. Representatives of the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, international financial institutions, development partners and donors attended the meeting.’

Therefore, given the scale of the devastation, it is indeed very small, and it is hoped that much more assistance will be provided with respect to flood relief. It should also be stressed here that the commitment related to climate finance will be kept by the rich and advanced countries, a commitment they made during the Paris climate meetings in 2015. Moreover, it is necessary that the countries countries are making faster progress in transitioning their economies away from the use of fossil fuels, among other measures that need to be taken to reduce the significant carbon footprint of developed countries. It is also indeed very important for developing countries like Pakistan which did little to create the climate change crisis but are suffering so much due to the rise in global temperature.

In addition, given the overall difficult balance of payments and debt situation, it is also hoped that increased assistance from the IMF on Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) will be provided, so that developing countries such as Pakistan use it to reduce imported inflation and can benefit from more budget support. space for the well-being of people, especially those suffering from the flood crisis.

The impact of the floods in terms of crop damage was also significant. Therefore, it is indeed extremely important, once again, that the climate change crisis is taken all the more seriously in global politics. A recent FinancialTimes (FT) published the article “Climate is a supply chain issue that cannot be ignored” highlighted “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is clear that extreme weather events, such as the drought, floods or powerful storms, will become more frequent and more severe as the climate changes.The implications for the production, manufacture and distribution of food and goods around the world are of a magnitude and an almost disconcerting complexity.

Damage to crops, such as rice and cotton, will not only add to the already very serious challenge of food shortages, both domestically and internationally, but in the case of Pakistan, the fall in cotton exports is likely due to the fall in agricultural production, will also reduce putting additional pressure on the already weak situation of foreign exchange reserves in which the country finds itself. The shortage of cotton production will also likely have a negative impact on the already tight global cotton supply situation.

A recent article published by Bloomberg “Global cotton supply continues to shrink, hit by drought, heat” highlighted in this regard “Extreme weather conditions are wreaking havoc on virtually all of the world’s largest cotton suppliers. In India, the top producing country, heavy rains and pests have reduced cotton crops so much that the country is importing supplies. A heat wave in China is raising concerns about the upcoming harvest there. In the United States, the biggest exporter of the commodity, a worsening drought is ravaging farms and is expected to drag production to its lowest level in more than a decade. And now Brazil, the second largest exporter, is grappling with extreme heat and drought that has already reduced yields by almost 30%. Thus, to this shortage of cotton supply, a consequence of the climate change crisis, is added the loss of production in Pakistan due to the floods.

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