Despite being blessed with all kinds of resources, no doubt the economy of Pakistan is being marred with challenges like erosion in the purchasing power, mounting local and foreign debt, and dissuasion of productive private sector activity.
Experts recorded that Pakistan in a decade has been drenched by severe monsoon rains that have led to the country’s worst flooding. The present flood in Pakistan is amongst the worst natural catastrophe of recent times, destroying and damaging millions of acres of land, crops, infrastructure, and economic and social lives.
Extraordinarily, monsoon downpour during the normal season that runs between July and September becomes predominantly severe in the country. Economic experts analyzed that economic outcomes in rural areas are heavily influenced by climatic factors mainly in Pakistan. Rainfall patterns, temperature variations, and weather extremes all affect mainly agricultural yields, on which rural income in developing states overwhelmingly depends. They also identified that natural disasters like floods are mainly harmful, and they disproportionately affect the rural poor people, who depend particularly heavily on agriculture.
It is also said that climate-induced natural disasters have both short- and long-term impacts on affected households, who may lose their livelihoods, life savings, and creditworthiness. By destroying productive assets acquired over many years, natural disasters can push people permanently back into poverty, making it hard to recover their pre-disaster consumption levels and rebuild assets.
As per statistics released by Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), in the country greater than half a million more houses were recorded damaged or destroyed in the first 10 days of September 2022, registering greater than 1.17 million damaged houses and approximately 566,000 destroyed houses. During the first week of September 2022 statistics showed that about 88 percent of all damaged or destroyed houses – over 1.52 million houses – are in Sindh, and the province has also registered the highest number of human casualties: 577 people killed and 8,321 people injured, out of a total of approximately 1,400 deaths and greater than 12,700 injuries, counting at least 496 children killed and nearly 4,000 children injured across Pakistan.
Statistics also showed that of the damaged roads, some 40 percent are in Sindh, 24 percent in KPK (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), and 22 percent in Balochistan. Sources identify that more than 22,000 schools have been damaged in Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, and KPK, and over 5,500 other schools are being utilized to shelter people who have been displaced from their homes, interrupting education and learning for over 3.5 million children.
Historically in October 2005, there was a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 there was severe flooding. These disasters had a massive cumulative effect on the economy of Pakistan. In 2010 monsoon rains caused massive floods in Pakistan which killed nearly two thousand people, affected more than 20 million and made at least 7.8 million people food insecure, and inflicted over US$ 16 billion in economic loss.
The NDMA also recorded that some 33 million people have been disturbed through the heavy rains and floods and has officially notified 81 districts as ‘calamity hit’ – 32 in Balochistan, 23 in Sindh, 17 in KPK, 6 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 3 in Punjab. Some 664,000 people are reportedly living in relief camps – over 190,000 more than a week ago. Many more are reportedly living with host communities. UNHCR shows that about 800,000 refugees live in districts notified as ‘calamity hit’ through the Government of Pakistan, counting some 210,000 in Peshawar district in KPK; 170,000 in Quetta, Balochistan; 77,700 in Nowshera, KPK; and 71,500 in Karachi, Sindh. While continued rainfall and the submergence of some schools and learning centers inhibit full assessments, initial estimates indicate that 61 refugee village schools have been affected (26 in KPK and 35 in Balochistan), disrupting education and learning for over 27,000 children.
Estimates indicate that over 1,460 health facilities have been disturbed by the heavy rains and floods. Early disease surveillance indicates that 10 thousands of people are affected by diarrhea, malaria, and various other diseases. Initial reports have been received of increased dengue cases in refugee villages in KPK, while an outbreak of acute watery diarrhea (AWD) has reportedly affected 45 districts in Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab, KPK, and ICT (Islamabad Capital Territory).
It is reported that in Sindh over 1.2 million hectares of agricultural land have been damaged, while in Balochistan 61 percent of livestock keepers in assessed districts have already recorded symptoms of transboundary animal diseases. Statistics showed that approximately 50 percent of affected households in assessed districts of Balochistan earn their livelihoods through keeping livestock, with 36 percent reporting losing at least one livestock asset, 46 percent reporting damage to livestock shelters, and 29 percent reporting loss of animal feedstock.