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Pak flood damage estimated $9.5 bn

world Updated: Oct 14, 2010 02:44 IST

Pakistan's recent floods inflicted $9.5 billion in damage to property, crops and infrastructure, according to an Asian Development Bank and World Bank assessment, Finance Ministry officials said on Wednesday.

Aside from trying to cope with that direct damage, the government may face total recovery costs of $30 billion, Finance Ministry officials said, although they had not seen the report.

If that figure proves correct, it will likely disappoint the government, which had estimated damage at $43 billion.

Pakistan may not be able to manage billions of dollars of financial support needed for reconstruction, a reality that worries the US, which wants stability in an ally seen as vital in its war on militancy.

The government is often preoccupied by one crisis after another, from feuding politicians to waves of suicide bombings to showdowns with the powerful Supreme Court.

If aid money does not reach millions of flood-victims soon, unpopular Pakistani leaders will lose more credibility, and Taliban insurgents may capitalise on hardships to gain recruits. Structural tensions between the civilian leadership, the bureaucracy and the military, were also exacerbated by the floods.

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