Islamabad [Pakistan], September 3 (ANI): Balochistan Agriculture Minister Mir Asadullah Baloch on Friday rejected the Rs 10 billion grant announced by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for the rehabilitation of flood victims in the province saying that the grant was nothing compared to the losses incurred by the province, local media reported.
Baloch Agriculture Minister, while speaking at a ceremony said according to initial assessments, the province has already suffered financial losses of over 200 billion as entire communication infrastructure and agriculture was destroyed by torrential rains and heavy floods.
“This grant was nothing compared to the level of destruction in the province,” he said.
Asadullah Baloch criticised the Pakistan government for the small amount of grant released compared to the losses and said, “If philanthropists in Balochistan donate to help the victims, that amount alone will exceed Rs 100b.”
“The federal and provincial governments should be on one page to meet the challenge of rehabilitation,” he said, adding, “around 1.3m people have become homeless.”
The minister said that the province has suffered losses of acres of rice, onion, tomatoes, barley crops and several fruit orchards that have been washed away. This would increase poverty and unemployment in the province, he added.
Baloch suggested the provincial government to hold a donor conference in Islamabad to secure aid from national and international bodies, Dawn reported.
Over the past few weeks, torrential monsoon rains in Pakistan have broken a century-long record and dumped more than five times the 30-year average for rainfall in some provinces, killing more than 1200 people, including about 400 children.
The unprecedented floods have washed away or damaged over 1.1 million houses and destroyed vital infrastructure children rely on to access essential services, such as schools and hospitals. At least 18,000 schools have been damaged or destroyed across the country due to the floods.
According to the National Disaster Management Authority’s (NDMA’s) report, 12 people died in Sindh, four in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and three in Balochistan on Friday. The deceased include nine children.
The disaster management authority said 256 people were injured in flood-related incidents across the country. The flash floods have badly impacted 80 districts of the country.
The NDMA report said that since June 14, at least 256 people have died in Balochistan, 268 in KP, 188 in Punjab, 22 in Gilgit-Baltistan. The southern province of Sindh, which has been badly hit by the flooding, has asked for 1 million tents, while nearby Balochistan province has requested 100,000 tents.
“The heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan which started in mid-July 2022 are continuing in many parts of the country and have affected 116 districts (75 per cent) out of 154 districts in Pakistan. The most affected province is Sindh, followed by Balochistan,” the WHO said in a report. (ANI)
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Source: The Print