ISLAMABAD - Pakistan would hold a donors conference soon to seek international financing for the rehabilitation of the flood affected areas of the country, as the floods have destroyed the crops, livestock and infrastructure.

Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar has directed the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) and Foreign Office to prepare a report on initial assessment of damages by floods and to hold a donors conference to engage the donors in the rehabilitation work. He also asked Secretary Cabinet and Secretary EAD to undertake Recovery Need Assessment (RNA) with assistance from UNDP and Damage Need Assessment (DNA) with the help of WB/ADB simultaneously for having a correct estimate of damages and efforts required for recovery of the situation of flood affectees. Finance Minister made these remarks while chairing the 3rd meeting to review the flood situation and relief and rescue activities, in which he was given a presentation on Multi Sector Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) which outlines the initial estimates of the damages caused by the floods in the areas of Punjab, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan.

It is worth mentioning here that government had already announced to seek international community’s help for the rehabilitation of the floods affected areas. The recent floods have made it difficult to achieve the ambitious growth target of 5.1 per cent for the ongoing fiscal year.

Chairman NDMA, Maj Gen Muhammad Saeed Aleem briefed the Finance Minister that the initial assessment has been conducted in five districts (Mandi Bahauddin, Hafizabad, Chiniot, Jhang, and Multan) by NDMA, PDMA and UN jointly and the areas of agriculture, food security, livelihood, shelter/housing, health & nutrition, education, community infrastructure, water, sanitation & hygiene and protection were analyzed. According to the presentation, a large extent of crop area has been affected by floods but the exact nature and extent of damage will be clear after the water recedes. Similarly it is estimated that the 43% of the food stock losses have occured in these areas. Finance Minister was also briefed that 1547 Km (38%) of the total road length has been inundated by the flood waters. Finance minister said, “We shall try to help the flood affectees in any way possible. We shall also consider various proposals to help the flood victims like restoration of community infrastructure through cash for work program, compensation for cattle head losses, restoration of livelihoods and economic activities through micro finance credit schemes for all affected areas.” Finance Minister also said that out of the Rs.100 million seed money which we had already promised for allocating for the IDPs and flood affected people, federal and provincial governments will pay cash compensation for damaged houses based on detailed assessment.

The finance minister directed the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) to work for the restoration of damaged schools, ensure availability of instructional staff and provision of classroom materials because education though a devolved subject is one of the four E’s of the agenda of PML-N government.

The meeting was attended by Ikhlaq Ahmad Tarar, Secretary Cabinet Division, Dr Waqar Masood, Secretary Finance Division, Rana Assad Amin, Advisor Finance Division, Saleem Sethi, Secretary Economic Affairs Division, Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad, Secretary Communication Division, Secretary Information Muhammad Azam, Shahid Mehmood, Additional Secretary Finance Division, Khizar Hayat Gondal, Chief Secretary Azad Jammu Kashmir and Muzaffarabad and senior officials of Finance Ministry and NHA.