Pakistan fears that floods might have caused over $40 billion in economic losses and damages as the National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) dismissed the initial assessment of $18 billion, local media reported.
The $40 billion losses were flagged in a flood response center meeting during a discussion on an interim report titled "An Early Assessment of Flood Impact on Pakistan's Economy", presented by the Ministry of Finance.
"The devastating conditions suggest that the scale of flood losses is in the range of $30 billion to over $40 billion," said Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, while talking to The Express Tribune.
Iqbal, who is also Chairman of NFRCC, a joint civil-military body set up to monitor and coordinate relief and rehabilitation work, said, "We are going through the process of a comprehensive assessment of flood damages with the help of World Bank, Asian Development Bank, provincial and federal governments."
It is for the first time that the $40 billion loss estimate has been given, which is three times more than the initial estimate of $10 billion to $12 billion. The new number is even far higher than the $30 billion figure given by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last week.
Although a detailed report of losses would be ready in four to six weeks, an initial assessment would be finalized by the end of this week, said the NFRCC chairman.
The planning minister said that the finance ministry had presented an initial assessment of flood losses, which was based on predictive analysis but the model's outcome would depend on what input was fed into it, The Express Tribune reported.
"NFRCC has directed the Ministry of Finance to withhold the release of its flood impact report," he added.
"We will wait for the outcome of comprehensive assessment but damages are colossal and even more than $30 billion as suggested by the United Nations secretary general," said the NFRCC chairman. (KB/IANS)