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UN emergency relief funds for Pakistan expected to run out

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UN emergency relief funds for Pakistan expected to run out

Pakistan relief funds
UN emergency relief funds for the flooding in Pakistan may run out as soon as today – Photo: Fida Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

The UN’s emergency relief fund for Pakistan’s devastating floods is expected to run out as soon as today.

Floods engulfed a third of Pakistan last summer, killing nearly 1,800 people, displacing 300,000 and affecting 33 million. The situation quickly devolved into a major humanitarian disaster. Entire regions became submerged and many lacked access to basic needs and services. Public health has also become a concern for millions of children at risk from infectious diseases.

Last week, a range of international donors, including Germany, the US, the EU and the Islamic Development Bank, pledged over 8 billion after the UN fell short of its target amount. Damages are estimated at 40 billion, meaning Pakistan has a difficult road ahead in repairing its crippled infrastructure. Additionally, Pakistan is dangerously close to defaulting on its foreign debt.

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has pointed to Pakistan’s floods to stress the importance of greater access to development capital and debt relief for developing nations. Pakistan is currently implementing financial reforms under an agreement with the IMF to better handle its fiscal stability. It faces an uphill battle in being able to handle multiple crises at once as it heads into national elections later this year.

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