Saudi Arabia’s King Salman orders $1bn investment in Pakistan

Pakistani economy facing added difficulties from heavy rains and flooding in recent months

Saudi Arabia's King Salman remotely addresses the 76th session of the UN General Assembly. AP
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has directed the kingdom to invest $1 billion in Pakistan to support its economy and people, the royal court has said.

The order was discussed during a telephone call on Thursday between Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Pakistan has been suffering from unprecedented heavy rainfall in recent months. At least 913 people have been killed due to the rains since June.

The Pakistani government has appealed to international donors for humanitarian assistance due to the flash flooding, which Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman has called “Monster Monsoon”.

“This is a climate-induced humanitarian disaster of very epic proportion,” Ms Rehman told reporters at a press briefing in Islamabad.

The International Monetary Fund said it will meet on Monday and it is expected to resume a $6bn loan programme for Pakistan.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif returned on Thursday from Qatar, which said it will also invest $3bn in Pakistan’s fragile economy.

The country's disaster agency said on Wednesday that heavy rains have triggered a series of flash floods that have wreaked havoc across much of the nation, leaving about 50,000 people homeless.

Thousands of people whose homes were swept away now live in tents far from their inundated villages and towns, after being rescued by soldiers, local disaster workers and volunteers.

The flash floods have damaged as many as 129 bridges across Pakistan, disrupting the supply of fruit and vegetables to markets and causing a rise in prices.

Updated: August 25, 2022, 3:16 PM