International donors on Monday committed over $9 billion to help Pakistan recover from ruinous floods last year, exceeding its external financing goals and paving the way for a new model on raising funds to fight climate disasters in poorer countries.
Officials from some 40 countries as well as private donors and international financial institutions gathered at a meeting in Geneva as Islamabad sought funds to cover around half of a recovery bill amounting to $16.3 billion.
The meeting’s co-hosts, the United Nations and Pakistan’s government, said more than $9 billion had been pledged from bilateral and multilateral partners.
Among the donors were the Islamic Development Bank ($4.2 billion), the World Bank ($2 billion), Saudi Arabia ($1 billion), as well as the European Union and China, Pakistan Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said. France and the United States also made contributions.
“Today has truly been a day which gives us great hope,” said Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan’s minister of state for foreign affairs. “I think the message from the world is clear: the world will stand by those who go through any national calamity.”
Achim Steiner, the United Nations Development Programme Administrator, characterized the outcome of the conference – where pledges exceeded Pakistan’s goal – as “quite unusual,” saying that donor pledges often fell short of objectives.
Waters are still receding from the floods caused by monsoon rains and melting glaciers that killed at least 1,700 people, displaced around 8 million and destroyed key infrastructure.