Pakistan pledges financial assistance for hurricane-hit Caribbean countries
ISLAMABAD: As an expression of support and solidarity from Pakistan with the Caribbean countries devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Saturday pledged a financial assistance of US $ 200,000 each to Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and Saint Kitts and Nevis.
The Caribbean region was recently hit by two Category V hurricanes that caused widespread destruction and damage to lives and property across the region with Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and Saint Kitts and Nevis as the worst affected.
The hurricanes killed 27 people and destroyed 80% of the buildings in the small island nation of Dominica. In Barbuda, 90% of the buildings were destroyed and all of its population was shifted to neighboring Antigua. Similar damages have been reported in Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Pakistan has good, cooperative relations with the 14-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations and has forged excellent cooperation in several multilateral settings including the United Nations.
The government and the people of Pakistan share the grief of the victims, and pray for the early recovery of the affected region, said a Foreign Office statement.
From Cuba to Antigua, Caribbean islanders are counting the cost of Hurricane Irma after the brutal storm left a trail of death, destruction and chaos that may take the tourist-dependent region years to recover from.
While, the combined economic cost of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma could reach $290 billion, equivalent to 1.5 percent of the US gross domestic product, US forecaster AccuWeather said in a report last month.
“We believe the damage estimate from Irma to be about $100 billion, among the costliest hurricanes of all time,” said the firm’s CEO and founder Joel Myers.
Harvey, which battered Texas and parts of Louisiana in late August, will be “the costliest weather disaster in US history at $190 billion or one full percentage point of GDP” which stands at $19 trillion.
The report said it arrived at the figure by calculating disruptions to business, increased unemployment rates for significant periods of time, damage to transport and infrastructure, crop loss including a 25 percent drop of orange crop, increased costs of fuels including gasoline, heating oil and jet fuel, household damages and loss of valuable documentation.