- PM gives interview to UK’s Financial Times paper.
- Pakistan prepares strategy to deal with economic crisis.
- Shehbaz Sharif says Pakistan needs “huge sums of money” for rebuilding.
Pakistan will ask international lenders for billions of dollars in loans after devastating floods exacerbated the South Asian nation’s economic crisis, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
“We are not asking for any kind of measure [such as] a rescheduling or a moratorium,” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif told the UK publication.
“We are asking for additional funds.”
The country needs “huge sums of money” for “mega undertakings” such as rebuilding roads, bridges and other infrastructure damaged or washed away, the FT quoted Shehbaz Sharif as saying.
The premier did not specify the amount Pakistan is seeking, but repeated an estimate of $30 billion of flood losses, the report said.
Earlier this month, the United Nations raised its humanitarian aid appeal for Pakistan five-fold to $816 million from $160 million, as a surge in water-borne diseases and fear of growing hunger pose new dangers after the unprecedented floods.
The European Union also scaled up its flood assistance to 30 million euros ($29.57 million).
A decline in Pakistan’s currency is also pushing up the cost of imports, borrowing and debt servicing, and will further exacerbate inflation already running at a multi-decade high of 27.3%.
The estimated $30 billion in damage to the economy from the floods along with rising concerns about Islamabad’s ability to raise money to meet external financing requirements has worsened the situation.