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Published: 11:20, September 23, 2022 | Updated: 18:17, September 23, 2022
Report: UN says flood-hit Pakistan should halt debt repayments
By Reuters
Published:11:20, September 23, 2022 Updated:18:17, September 23, 2022 By Reuters

Internally displaced flood-affected people take refuge at a makeshift camp at Dera Allah Yar in Jaffarabad district of Balochistan province, Pakistan, on Sept 21, 2022. (FIDA HUSSAIN / AFP)

Pakistan should suspend international debt repayments and restructure loans with creditors after recent floods added to the country's financial crisis, the Financial Times reported on Friday, citing a UN policy memo.

The memo further proposed debt restructuring or swaps, where creditors would let go of repayments in exchange for Pakistan agreeing to invest in climate change-resilient infrastructure, the Financial Times said

The memorandum, which the UN Development Programme will share with Pakistan's government this week, states that the country's creditors should consider debt relief so that policymakers can prioritize financing its disaster response over loan repayment, the newspaper said.

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The country's foreign office in Islamabad did not respond to a Reuters request for comment on the memorandum. Pakistan's finance minister and information minister could not be immediately reached for comment.

Pakistan has earlier estimated the damage at US$30 billion, and both the government and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have blamed the flooding on climate change.

The memo further proposed debt restructuring or swaps, where creditors would let go of repayments in exchange for Pakistan agreeing to invest in climate change-resilient infrastructure, FT said.

Floods have affected 33 million Pakistanis, inflicted billions of dollars in damage, and killed over 1,500 people - creating concern that Pakistan will not meet debts.

READ MROE: Children, women suffer from diseases in flood-hit Pakistan

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