Pakistan's allies will only do so much to rebuild the country after devastating floods so the government must raise tens of billions of dollars for reconstruction itself, a top US official said on Thursday.
The floods, triggered by heavy monsoon rain in late July, killed more than 1,750 people, forced at least 10 million people from their homes and caused up to $43 billion in damage.
"The international community is not going to be able to raise tens of billions of dollars," US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke told a meeting of newspaper editors in the southern city of Karachi. "You have to figure out a way to raise the money," he said.
A massive cascade of waters swept through the country, washing away homes, roads, bridges, crops and livestock, sending the vital US ally in the campaign against militancy reeling in one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history.
Pakistan's economy was already fragile and the cost of rehabilitation will likely push the 2010/11 fiscal deficit to between 6 and 7 per cent of gross domestic product (GPD) against an original target of 4 per cent. The floods are "going to put your government to the test", Holbrooke said.