FM Bilawal urges IMF, govt not to forget about Sindh flood victims

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: PPP Chairman and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has urged the federal government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to consider the plight of the flood-hit people of Sindh.

In augurating a post-flood rebuilding project in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Karachi on Wednesday, Bilawal called on the government and the IMF to provide “relief” to flood-hit people similar to the one given during the pandemic days in 2020.

The conference was jointly organized by the Sindh government and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to discuss the rehabilitation of flood-affected areas of the province.

The funds will be initially utilized in eight flood affected districts of the province including Larkana, Sukkur, Dadu, Hyderabad, Thatta, Shaheed Benazirabad, Umerkot and Tando Allahyar.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Shah informed, on the occasion, that around two point one million houses had been damaged in floods in the province.

Meanwhile, the Sindh government under public-private partnership signed an agreement for reconstruction of flood affected houses.

Hadi Bux of Sindh Rural Support Programme and Chief Executive Officer Housing Khalid Shaikh signed the agreement.

Addressing the conference, the foreign minister stressed that it was also the responsibility of international organisations including the IMF to suggest reforms for our betterment but flood affectees must also be provided protection so that they can come out of the current situation”.

Bilawal said the country faced unprecedented damage in the wake of floods as 33 million people were affected while five million acres of standing crops were destroyed. “Agriculture is the backbone of our economy but this flood broke our back,” he said.

Bilawal said Pakistan was thankful to the countries who pledged “more than our expectations” at the Geneva conference while the United Nations secretary general deserved equal accolades for his support in this regard.

“Dignitaries including the UN officials or our prime ministers had a foremost demand of rebuilding of homes whenever they visited the flood-hit areas,” he recalled, adding the process was difficult and will take time “but intend to build homes from scratch”.

He said the provincial government also had plans to give ownership rights to the occupants of reconstructed houses in a bid to empower them economically. “We promise that in two to three years, we will complete this whole process and we will reach people to rebuild their homes, not only for repair purposes but also give ownership rights,” he underlined.

The minister said he would request the federal government to implement a similar model in other flood-hit provinces for the earliest recovery.