Signals | September 1, 2022

Epic floods in Pakistan highlight gap in climate funding for emerging markets

Amy Cortese
ImpactAlpha Editor

Amy Cortese

ImpactAlpha, Sept. 1 – The monsoon-season floods sweeping through Pakistan have killed more than 1,000 people, including hundreds of children, and created at least 500,000 flood refugees. Damage to homes, infrastructure and cropland could total more than $10 billion.

Pakistan’s climate change minister Sherry Rehman calls the floods a “climate-induced humanitarian disaster of epic proportions.”

The bitter lesson: Climate adaptation funding is wholly inadequate for low and middle-income countries on the frontlines of climate change. 

Debt burden

The IMF has approved more than $1.1 billion (and imposed austerity measures) to head off a default by Pakistan’s debt-burdened treasury. The Green Climate Fund has allocated $131 million for climate mitigation and adaptation projects in the country.

The climate finance and aid mechanisms to support net zero, adaptation and resilience in least-developed and middle-income countries “are not fit for purpose as climate impacts outpace countries’ ability to pay for their costs,” tweeted Daniel Firger of Great Circle Capital Advisors.

“We need a deep structural reset; #LossAndDamage is a start.” 

How to help

Kalsoom Lakhani of i2i Ventures, a Pakistan-based early-stage venture capital fund, shared a list of vetted aid organizations.

Karachi Relief Trust can receive funds via a U.S.-based nonprofit and has “a strong reputation on the ground, exists *for* relief efforts like these” she says. Rizq is focused on Punjab and hard-hit Balochistan. HANDS already has 10,000 or so volunteers in the field.

“Our support should go beyond a one-time donation, since there will be an enormous impact on these communities,” writes Lakhani.