ISLAMABAD: Though Pakistan will have to seek another loan from International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help recover from the recent catastrophic floods in the country, a report of Oxfam released on Monday recommends the country to avail the ‘Loss and Damage Finance Facility’ proposed by G77 plus China at the Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).

If the Loss and Damage Finance Facility is operationalised and adequately resourced, it would help Pakistan fill the extensive gaps in addressing loss and damage caused by the floods, says the Oxfam report titled, The Cost of Delay.

The facility would come in the form of grants to ensure the country was not further burdened by debt in the aftermath of a climate-induced disaster.

The facility would provide substantially more finance to help first responders, usually local organisations, to respond to the crisis, the report says.

Local decision-making processes would determine where funding gaps are and how the finance would be spent. At this moment when international solidarity is being tested, it would also provide a vital signal of international cooperation, helping to build trust between developed and developing countries, the report says.

A Loss and Damage Finance Facility was proposed by the G77 Plus China at COP26 and it would be one way to ensure a comprehensive response to climate impacts that is in line with the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” and mobilised on the basis of the “polluter pays” principle.

Such a facility would coordinate, oversee and provide accountability for the support provided, ensuring that finance to address Loss and Damage is new and additional to ODA and climate finance.

The report notes that the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan this year directly affected at least 33 million people and costs were estimated at over $30 billion. Yet the UN humanitarian appeal for the floods is set at only $472.3 million (just over one per cent of what is needed), and only 19pc funded.

The flood response is not considered to be anywhere near enough to help millions of people who have lost their livelihood and homes and face hunger, disease and psychological impacts, says the report, prepared by a group of more than 100 researchers, activists and policymakers around the globe.

The report says an average of 189m people per year have been affected by extreme weather-related events in developing countries since 1991 — the year that a mechanism was first proposed to address the costs of climate impacts on low-income countries.

Analysis shows that in the first half of 2022 six fossil fuel companies combined made enough money to cover the cost of major extreme weather and climate-related events in developing countries and still have nearly $70 billion profit remaining.

The report reveals that 55 of the most climate-vulnerable countries have suffered climate-induced economic losses totaling over half a trillion dollars during the first two decades of this century as fossil fuel profits rocket leaving people in some of the poorest places on earth to foot the bill.

The report also reveals that the fossil fuel industry made enough super-profit between 2000 and 2019 to cover the costs of climate-induced economic losses in 55 of the most climate-vulnerable countries almost 60 times over.

Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2022

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