Pakistan floods predicted to hammer economy

Pakistan floods predicted to hammer economy

Pakistan’s economic growth will plunge 2% because of the floods and lead to “massive” job losses, the prime minister warned today.

Yousuf Raza Gilani said one-fifth of the country’s irrigation infrastructure, livestock and crops had been destroyed.

“Performance of agriculture consequently will be much lower this year and the year ahead. This loss will have a snowball effect on manufacturing, services and export sectors,” he said. “Food security of the country is also under threat.”

The floods began over a month ago in the north-west after extremely heavy monsoon rains and surged south along the Indus River and its tributaries. The army, along with international aid agencies, are struggling to reach the eight million people who are still in need of emergency assistance.

The scale of the disaster has raised concerns about the stability of the country, which was already struggling with an anaemic economy and relentless attacks by the Taliban and al Qaida. Mr Gilani warned the floods may yet have “social implications,” but did not elaborate.

He said economic growth would drop to 2.5% in the 2011 financial year, down from a predicted 4.5% this year. Inflation, currently predicted to hit 9.5% next year, would likely be in the range of 15% to 20%.

“This economic loss will translate into massive job losses,” he said.

The floods have receded in parts of north and central Pakistan but are continuing in the south. The waters are expected to remain for several weeks, prolonging the misery of millions desperate to return home and rebuild their lives.

Foreign countries have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to help Pakistan respond to the floods.

Even the country’s archenemy, India, has offered assistance and announced yesterday that it was increasing its aid from $5m to $25m.

More on this topic

Residents flee as flash-floods death toll approaches 500Residents flee as flash-floods death toll approaches 500

Pakistan told by US to fund its own flood rebuildingPakistan told by US to fund its own flood rebuilding

Jolie sees Pakistan devastationJolie sees Pakistan devastation

Clegg: 'Pakistan will need aid for years'Clegg: 'Pakistan will need aid for years'

More in this Section

Increasing health risks from heatwaves as climate changes, experts warnIncreasing health risks from heatwaves as climate changes, experts warn

‘It’s a witch hunt, it’s a hoax': Trump downplays moment as impeachment hearings open‘It’s a witch hunt, it’s a hoax': Trump downplays moment as impeachment hearings open

Takeaways so far from public US impeachment hearingsTakeaways so far from public US impeachment hearings

Johnson insists voting Tory ‘only way’ to deliver Brexit despite Farage threatJohnson insists voting Tory ‘only way’ to deliver Brexit despite Farage threat


Lifestyle

Amid a flood of interest in the island nation in recent years, here’s a few under-the-radar wonders to help separate you from the herd.6 amazing off-the-beaten-track destinations in Japan

November weather leaving your skin dry and dull? Rachel Marie Walsh picks the best new products to keep it spring fresh.Product Watch: The best new products to keep your skin spring fresh

Here is a selection of hot, comforting desserts for a cold winter’s evening. The first is a luscious and decadent chocolate orange dessert that stays soft in the centre.Michelle Darmody: Comforting desserts for a cold winter’s evening

Jackie Turner, genetic counsellor, Clinical Genetics Centre for Ophthalmology, Mater Hospital, DublinWorking Life: 'I catch the quiet 6:15 train, a place to gather my thoughts and plan my day'

More From The Irish Examiner