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Unprecedented floods in Pakistan

06:40 PM | 11 Sep, 2023
Unprecedented floods in Pakistan
Source: Express Tribune

Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century. It is characterized by changes in weather patterns and shifts in climatic temperatures, and it has a significant impact on various countries worldwide, including Pakistan which is among the top 10 nations most affected by changes in climate, leading to a reduction in agriculture production and droughts along with an increase in coastal erosion.

Recently, floods in Pakistan have caused extensive damage, devastating thousands of acres of land and displacing millions of people, resulting in loss of lives. According to preliminary estimates, floods have affected 33% of the country's cultivated land, which is 7 million hectares out of a total of 22 million hectares. Initial assessments indicate damages of Rs298 billion in the agriculture and livestock sector. The agriculture sector plays a significant role in Pakistan's economy, contributing 23% of GDP and 19% to gross output while also employing 37.4% of the labour force.

Looking at the past, the floods of 2010 hurt the agriculture sector, causing major crop production to decline by 15%. However, the destruction caused by the recent floods is of a higher magnitude and has flooded vast areas of cultivated land. This has led to a loss of 25-30% in agriculture production, including losses in livestock and crop damage. This contraction in the agriculture sector is expected to generate a gross output loss of $21 billion and a gross value addition loss of $14.7 billion, which is 3.85% of the current GDP.

This can be seen through the input-output model and will have a far-reaching impact on various sectors such as food, beverages, retail/wholesale, trade and chemicals, rubbers, and plastics. These sectors are likely to suffer heavy losses in gross output and value-added, which will impact the overall economy. The economic impact of this nature can be summarised as a reduction of GDP combined with higher inflation and increased unemployment.

The government should take steps to provide relief by renegotiating with the IMF, increasing the budgetary allocation of social safety nets, and announcing support prices for wheat and other edibles with subsidies on farm inputs and interest-free loans. Moreover, the government should focus on rebuilding infrastructure and providing support for the affected communities. It is important to note that climate change is a long-term issue that requires a comprehensive approach to mitigate its effects. This includes investing in sustainable agricultural practices, improving water management, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In conclusion, climate change is a major challenge that affects countries around the world, including Pakistan. The recent floods in the country have caused devastating damage, with a significant impact on the agriculture sector, which is a crucial contributor to the country's economy. The government must take immediate action to provide relief for affected communities and mitigate the long-term effects of climate change. Additionally, the government must work with the private sector and international organizations to address the root causes of climate change and implement effective solutions to mitigate its impacts.

The writer is currently enrolled in A Levels at Aitchison College Lahore.

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Pakistani rupee rate against US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal - Check 20 April forex rates

Pakistani currency remains marginally same against US Dollar and other currencies on April 20, 2024. US dollar was being quoted at 277.5 for buying and 280.5 for selling.

Euro comes down to 293 for buying and 296 for selling while British Pound stands at 342.25 for buying, and 345.65 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.25 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 20 April 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.5 280.5
Euro EUR 293 296
UK Pound Sterling GBP 342.5 346
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.2 75.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.55 748.55
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.47 38.87
Danish Krone DKK 39.78 40.18
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.53 35.88
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.11 912.11
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.08 58.68
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.22 166.22
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.61 25.91
Omani Riyal OMR 723.2 731.2
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.45 77.15
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.31 25.61
Swiss Franc CHF 305.47 307.97
Thai Bhat THB 7.56 7.71

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