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Pakistan needs billions for flood recovery, UN urges

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  • Over $16 billion is needed to help Pakistan recover from floods.
  • Previous appeal for $816 million resulted in less than half amount.
  • To meet needs, PM and UN secretary-general will host international conference.

GENEVA: More than $16 billion is needed to help Pakistan recover from devastating floods that submerged a third of the country last year, and to better resist the impact of climate change, the United Nations said Thursday.

In a bid to meet the towering needs, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will host an international conference in Geneva next week.

The one-day event will gather high-level representatives from dozens of countries, including several heads of state and government, who have yet to be named.

While not strictly a pledging conference, UN and Pakistani representatives said Thursday that it aimed to mobilise support as the country deals rebuilds after the massive floods that left more than 1,700 people dead and affected over 30 million others.

“The needs are around $16.3 billion,” Knut Ostby, the UN Development Programme’s representative in Pakistan, told reporters.

Speaking by video from Islamabad, Syed Haider Shah, who heads the UN division in Pakistan’s foreign ministry, said his country hoped to cover half that amount through its own “domestic resources”.

“For the rest, we are looking at the donor support,” he said.

“This is a pivotal moment for the global communities to stand with the people of Pakistan,” said Khalil Hashmi, the country’s UN envoy in Geneva, while stressing that the conference would be the beginning of a multiyear process”.

A previous appeal for $816 million to help the victims of Pakistan’s cataclysmic monsoon floods has so far resulted in less than half that amount.

Yet the situation remains dire months after the monsoon rains ended, with flood waters still not receded in some parts of southern Pakistan.

Millions of people remain displaced, and while many have begun returning home, Ostby noted that they were returning to damaged or destroyed homes and mud-covered fields that cannot be planted.

The number of people facing food insecurity had doubled to 14.6 million, he said.

In Geneva, Pakistan is due to present a document laying out a wide-ranging strategy aimed at a climate-resilient recovery and reconstruction.

Pakistan, with the world’s fifth-largest population, is responsible for just 0.8% of global greenhouse emissions but is also one the most vulnerable countries to extreme weather caused by climate change.

“What is unique about this conference is that it is both mobilising support for the immediate response to the disaster… but it also comes at a time where the world is realising that this is a global issue,” Ostby said.

“It has to be tackled with global solidarity.”

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Maj. Jamal Sheeran gave his life as one of the Immortal Martyrs in defence of the homeland

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Major Jamal Sheeran Shaheed, a Balochstani, gave his life while serving to defend the homeland from terrorists’ hateful plans.

July 17, 2017, marked the acceptance of martyrdom by Major Jamal Sheeran Baloch.

In the Kech District of Balochistan, he was from Turbat Area.

The martyr’s family, as well as officers and troops from FC Balochistan and the Pakistan Army, paid tribute to the martyr’s heroic sacrifice by reciting Fatiha and laying flower wreaths.

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Entertainment

Resham replies to criticism about her charitable activity, saying, “Let Allah decide.”

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Resham addressed her haters in an interview, refuting their claims that she uses money obtained illegally to support charitable causes.

Apart from her exceptional acting abilities, Resham is also renowned for her empathy.

Her significant charitable activities are well known.

Online criticism has been directed at Resham, despite her commendable attempts to promote poor areas.

Nevertheless, she decides to keep an optimistic outlook and is unmoved by the disparaging remarks.

“People on social media say all kinds of things, like she’s making food for charity out of ill-gotten money,” the woman said in response to the criticism. “But I say, let Allah decide.”

Regardless of the doubts she faces, her steadfast faith and fortitude enable her to carry on her charitable activities.

Resham has been cooking and giving food to the underprivileged for the past 20 years on her own.

In order to underscore the duration of her dedication, she said, “This has been going on continuously for the past six years, all 12 months.”

Her declaration demonstrates her steadfast support for the less fortunate and emphasises her continuous commitment to charitable activity.

Her supporters encouraged Resham to keep doing her good deeds and expressed gratitude for her charity endeavours.

That’s the cruellest remark, someone said. Do not let such hurtful remarks get to Resham’s feelings.

You are an amazing person, and Allah will bless you for all of your good deeds.

“Your work is much appreciated. It is the people of this globe that you are considering.

Another said, “No matter what one does, people will always criticise.” Other than that, they are unemployed. Resham, you’re doing amazing. Allah is indeed more knowledgeable.

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Business

Moody’s says the IMF programme will increase Pakistan’s foreign financing.

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Moody’s, a reputable international rating agency, has stated that Pakistan’s chances of acquiring funding will increase as a result of the recent agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which offers dependable sources for that purpose from both friendly countries and international financial institutions.

According to a recent Moody’s analysis on Pakistan’s economy, social unrest and tensions could result from Pakistan’s ongoing inflation. The country’s economic reforms may be hampered by increased taxes and potential changes to the energy tariff, it continued.

Moody’s, on the other hand, agrees that the coalition government headed by Shehbaz Sharif of the PML-N is in danger of failing to secure an election mandate, which may potentially undermine the successful and long-lasting execution of economic reforms.

The government’s capacity to proceed with economic changes may be hampered by societal unrest and poor governance, according to Moody’s.

In order to appease the IMF by fulfilling a prerequisite for authorising a rescue package, the government raised the basic tariff on electricity, which coincided with the most recent increase in fuel prices announced on Monday. This report was released by Moody’s.

Food costs have increased in the nation, where the vast majority is experiencing an unprecedented crisis due to the high cost of living, following the government’s earlier presentation of a budget that included a large increase in income tax for the salaried classes and the implementation of GST on commodities like milk.

The most recent comments were made following Islamabad’s achievement of a staff-level agreement for a $7 billion contract that spans 37 months and is contingent upon final approval by the IMF Executive Board.

It states that Pakistan will need foreign financing totaling about $21 billion in 2024–2025 and $23 billion in 2025–2026, meaning that the country’s present $9.4 billion in reserves won’t be sufficient to cover its needs.

Therefore, according to Moody’s, Pakistan is in an alarming position with regard to its external debt, and the next three to five years will be extremely difficult for the formulation and implementation of policies.

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