Pakistani infrastructure flood damage estimated at $9.5b.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 14, 2010 04:57

ISLAMABAD — International lenders are estimating that this summer's floods caused $9.5 billion in damage to Pakistan's infrastructure, agriculture and other sectors, a government official said Wednesday.

The estimate, drafted by the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank in consultation with Pakistani leaders, underscores the financial challenges facing Pakistan, a US-allied nation that is battling an Islamist insurgency and was relying on international loans before the deluge.

Although other nations, including the US, have contributed millions to the relief effort, they have warned Pakistan that they cannot foot the entire recovery and reconstruction bill, which some have estimated could surpass $40 billion. US officials, in particular, have urged Pakistan to improve its anemic tax collection to aid its long-term rebuilding.

The $9.5 billion figure refers only to existing values of roads, buildings, irrigation systems and other devastated sectors that were evaluated nationwide, not what it will cost to replace them, said the government official familiar with the report.


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