Pakistan has estimated the cost of flood damage

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for “massive” international support for flood-ravaged Pakistan during his visit to the country on Friday, as Islamabad estimated the cost of flood damage at $30 billion, according to Reuters.

Record monsoon rains and melting glaciers in the northern mountains triggered floods that swept away homes, roads, railways, bridges, livestock and crops and killed more than 1,400 people.

Huge areas of the country are flooded and hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes. The government says the lives of nearly 33 million people have been disrupted. Both the government and Guterres blamed the floods on climate change.

“We are appealing to the international community that Pakistan needs massive financial support as according to initial estimates the losses are around $30 billion,”

Guterres said at a joint press conference in the capital Islamabad after meeting Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Sharif said that Pakistan

“will remain in trouble as long as it does not receive sufficient international assistance.”

Pakistan expects to cut its GDP growth projection for the 2022-2023 financial year to 3 percent from 5 percent due to the losses, Minister Ahsan Iqbal said at an earlier press conference.

The United Nations has launched an aid appeal for $160 million to help Pakistan cope with the disaster.

In addition to meeting Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Guterres will visit the affected areas during his visit.

In July and August, Pakistan recorded 391 mm (15.4 in) of rainfall – almost 190% more than the 30-year average. The southern province of Sindh was overwhelmed with 466% more rain than average.

Guterres said the world needs to understand the impact of climate change on low-income countries.

The World Health Organization said more than 6.4 million people needed humanitarian support in the flooded areas.

The cost of cleaning up and rebuilding after the floods has added to concerns about whether the country can continue to service its debts.

In the past three weeks, its government bonds have fallen sharply, to almost half their face value in some cases, as international investors began to fear a default.