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KARACHI: Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Altaf Shakoor has said that the climate change-generated calamity hit Pakistan deserves debt relief and International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and all other lenders including the Chinese creditors should consider the Pakistani situation on humanitarian grounds and give it much needed debt relief.

Recalling the earthquake of Haiti in 2010, he said the World Bank had announced total cancellation of all remaining Haitian loans. He said at that time World Bank Group President Robert B Zoellick had said: “Relieving Haiti’s remaining debt is part of our effort to pursue every avenue to help Haiti’s reconstruction efforts. We will continue to work in close cooperation with the Haitian government and our international partners to support the country’s recovery and longer-term development.”

He said this cancellation by the World Bank of Haiti’s debt to IDA was made possible by contributions from Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Altaf Shakoor asked is the World Bank and other lenders are kind enough to show this generosity in the case of Pakistan?

He also recalled that following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the IMF established a Post-Catastrophe Debt Relief (PCDR) Trust that allows the Fund to join international debt relief efforts for very poor countries that are hit by the most catastrophic of natural disasters.

Such debt relief is intended to free up additional resources to meet exceptional balance of payments needs created by the disaster and the recovery, complementing fresh donor financing and the Fund’s concessional liquidity support.

The purpose of the PCDR was to allow the Fund to join international debt relief efforts when poor countries are hit by the most catastrophic of natural disasters, so as is to free up additional resources to meet exceptional balance of payments needs that arise from such catastrophes and subsequent economic recovery efforts, complementing fresh donor assistance and the IMF’s concessional financing under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT).

He said for many countries impacted by the negative impacts of climate change, much more money is leaving in debt payments than they receive in grants to cope with climate impacts.

He said tackling climate change and mitigating its effects for the world’s poorest are among the most critical challenges the world faces. He said presently Pakistan is the most fit case in this regard. There is a clear moral imperative for developed economies and international financial institutions to help Pakistanis who stand to lose most from the consequences of manmade climate change.

Altaf Shakoor requested the IMF, WB, ADB, and all other creditors belonging to the governments and institutions of the US, the European Union, China, Saudi Arabia and other countries to cancel all loans of Pakistan so that it could use these resources for reconstruction of the flood devastated areas and helping millions of their residents, especially poor farmers including their women and children.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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