Undermining the authenticity of the loss assessment that occurred in the recent floods, a top Pakistani official has admitted that the government did not have district-wise data on the population affected by the devastating floods.
The damaging disclosure was made by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Director Brig Muhammad Umar, during the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance held on Wednesday, The Express Tribune newspaper reported. “I do not have the data of the affected people,” said NDMA’s director when asked whether he knew how many people were affected in Sindh’s Khairpur district.
The revelations also raise questions on the utility of the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report that has been prepared by the World Bank with the collaboration of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union, the Tribune report said.
According to UNDP, the assessment estimates total damages to exceed USD 14.9 billion, and total economic losses to reach about USD 15.2 billion, totaling nearly USD 30 billion.
“Estimated needs for rehabilitation and reconstruction are at least USD 16.3 billion, not including much needed new investments to strengthen Pakistan’s adaptation to climate change and overall resilience to future climate shocks, or reconstruction needs of affected private entities,” the UN agency said.
The Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives led the PDNA, which was conducted jointly with the ADB, the EU, the United Nations agencies with technical facilitation by the UNDP, and the World Bank.
The floods affected 33 million people and more than 1,730 lost their lives. They are particularly impacting the poorest districts.