COP27: Pakistan Leads Push For "Loss and Damage" Compensation at Sharm El-Sheikh

COP27, the United Nations climate summit,  opened in Egypt on Sunday with the addition of negotiations over funding to compensate nations for “loss and damage” as an official agenda item. Pakistan led the push for it with the support of 134 developing nations. Discussions at COP26 in Scotland were mainly focused on funding "mitigation" and "adaptation", not compensation for "loss and damage".  

Pakistan Pavilion at COP27 Conference in Sharm Al-Sheikh, Egypt

The "loss and damage" agenda item was proposed by Pakistan during talks at Bonn after the country suffered heavy losses in unprecedented floods that hit a third of the country.  “My country, Pakistan, has seen floods that have left 33 million lives in tatters and have caused loss and damage amounting to 10% of the GDP,” said Ambassador Munir Akram, the 2022 chair of the G77—a group of 134 developing countries, at the opening session of COP27 at Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt. 

Cumulative CO2 Emissions By Country/Region. Source: The World

Pakistan has contributed only 0.28% of the CO2 emissions but it is among the biggest victims of climate change. The US, Europe, India, China and Japan, the world's biggest polluters, must accept responsibility for the catastrophic floods in Pakistan and climate disasters elsewhere. A direct link of the disaster in Pakistan to climate change has been confirmed by a team of 26 scientists affiliated with World Weather Attribution, a research initiative that specializes in rapid studies of extreme events, according to the New York Times

Top 5 Current Polluters. Source: Our World in Data

Currently, the biggest annual CO2 emitters are China, the US, India and Russia. Pakistan's annual CO2 emissions add up to just 235 million tons. On the other hand, China contributes 11.7 billion tons, the United States 4.5 billion tons, India 2.4 billion tons, Russia 1.6 billion tons and Japan 1.06 billion tons. 

Pakistan's Annual CO2 Emission. Source: Our World in Data

The United States has contributed 399 billion tons (25%) of CO2 emissions, the highest cumulative carbon emissions since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century. The 28 countries of the European Union (EU28), including the United Kingdom, come in second with 353 billion tons of CO2 (22%), followed by China with 200 billion tons (12.7%). 

Cumulative CO2 Emissions. Source: Our World in Data

Pakistan's cumulative CO2 contribution in its entire history is just 4.4 billion tons (0.28%). Among Pakistan's neighbors, China's cumulative contribution is 200 billion tons (12.7%),  India's 48 billion tons (3%) and Iran's 17 billion tons (1%).  

Developing Asian Nations' CO2 Emissions. Source: Our World in Data

Pakistan has contributed little to climate change but it has become one of its biggest victims. In the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, signatories agreed to recognize and “address” the loss and damage caused by those dangerous climate impacts, according to the Washington Post. Last year, at the major U.N. climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, negotiators from developing countries tried to establish a formal fund to help the countries like Pakistan most affected by climate disasters. It was blocked by rich countries led by the Biden administration. Formal addition of "loss and damage" item at this year's COP27 conference agenda is a good start. Let's hope that a formal  fund is established by the world's top polluters to compensate Pakistan and other developing nations. 

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Comment by Riaz Haq on November 8, 2022 at 2:17pm

Cop27 news – live: Pakistan PM says time for rich nations to help is ‘now or never’
‘We are spending billions of rupees from our own meagre resources, says Pakistani PM

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/cop27-live-sunak-india...

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shebaz Sharif made an emotional plea in a speech at the COP27 summit this afternoon in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, calling on richer nations to help countries that are reeling from the effects of the climate crisis.

During his speech, he said it was “now or never” to take action and that “for us, there is no ‘planet B’”.

“This COP rings an alarm bell for humanity, it is the only platform where the survival of the human race as a goal still holds promise,” he said.

“It is also the forum where we as vulnerable countries take our case to the rich and the resourced to build a road map to crucial policy resets needed in a world that is burning up faster than our capacity for recovery.”

He added that the nation is being forced to spend billions of rupees from its own “meagre resources” and will enter a “debt trap” if it continues to pay for the damages.

Mr Sharif’s comments come in the wake of devastating floods across parts of Pakistan, which have affected 33 million people and caused an estimated $40bn (£35bn ) in damages.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 8, 2022 at 4:48pm

Pakistan Monsoon Floods - Situation Report #5, November 8, 2022


https://reliefweb.int/report/pakistan/pakistan-monsoon-floods-situa...

Fast Facts

1,739 deaths, 12,867 injuries

2,288,481 homes damaged

13,115 kilometers of roads affected

Update by Province

Balochistan

336 deaths, 187 injuries

32 districts affected

115,822 houses destroyed, 125,837 damaged

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

309 deaths, 370 injuries

17 districts affected

37,525 houses destroyed, 53,939 damaged

Punjab

223 deaths, 3,858 injuries

Three districts affected

25,854 houses destroyed, 42,127 damaged

Sindh

799 deaths, 8,422 injuries

24 districts affected

716,819 houses destroyed, 1,168,210 damaged

Tens of millions of people in Pakistan have been affected by the flooding, caused by devastating monsoon rains, that has engulfed one-third of the country. There have been more than 1,700 deaths, and more than 6 million people remain in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Many people live in unsanitary conditions in temporary shelters on the roads, often with limited access to basic services, heightening the risk of a major public health crisis.

Though flood water has started receding in many districts of Sindh and Balochistan during the last few weeks, standing water remains in many districts, leading to outbreaks of water- and vector-borne diseases—a problem compounded by the destruction of health facilities by the floods.
Among other challenges, low stocks of essential medicines and medical supplies, and limits to access, are becoming hurdles to providing adequate health services to people in need.

The winter season in many of the affected areas is approaching fast and is likely to negatively affect the population in the coming weeks. Without adequate shelters and blankets, the health situation will quickly worsen.

The floods have also aggravated food insecurity and malnutrition in affected areas, with predictions that about 14.6 million people will require emergency food assistance from December through March 2023. According to the latest National Nutrition Survey estimates, almost 1.6 million children in Sindh and Balochistan are at the risk of malnutrition that will require treatment; stunting rates among these children will rise if they do not receive treatment in a timely manner.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 9, 2022 at 7:29am

#COP27: Small #island nations want #India, #China to pay for climate compensation fund. Top polluters must pay for the damage to the climate, said Gaston Browne, prime minister of #Antigua and #Barbuda. #LossAndDamage #Pakistan https://scroll.in/latest/1037068/cop27-small-island-nations-want-in... via @scroll_in

The Prime Minister of the island nation Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, said on Tuesday that highly polluting emerging economies, such as China and India, should contribute to a climate compensation fund to help other countries rebuild infrastructure after climate change-driven disasters, reported Reuters.

Browne made the comments while speaking on behalf of the Association of Small Island States negotiating bloc at the United Nations Conference of Parties, or COP27, which is being held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

At the conference, developing countries have sought financing from developed countries to help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. They have also demanded funds to deal with irreparable loss and damage caused by disasters that climate change is making significantly more frequent and intense.

“We all know that the People’s Republic of China, India – they’re major polluters, and the polluter must pay,” Browne said on Tuesday, reported Reuters. “I don’t think that there’s any free pass for any country and I don’t say this with any acrimony.”

China, the United States, and India were the top emitters of carbon dioxide in 2020, according to Our World in Data by Reuters.

More than 90% of India’s population lives in areas where air quality is below World Health Organization standards, according to a report by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air. Coal-fired power plants, factories and vehicles are among the major sources of pollution in the country

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 11, 2022 at 7:35am

Pakistan at COP27 demands climate aid, says 'dystopia' already here

https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/science-environment/2247019-pa...

or 'there's a a 50-50 allocation in terms of priority between mitigation-adaptation', it's not going to mean very much to somebody whose house has been burned down by a forest fire or somebody who has lost a family member in the floods," she said. Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has called on rich countries to offer compensation and debt relief to help cover Pakistan's efforts to rebuild and fortify the country against more severe climate impacts.

Pakistan will not be satisfied unless U.N. climate summit negotiators unlock emergency cash for the country to rebuild after this year's devastating floods, its climate minister said Thursday. "The dystopia has already come to our doorstep," the country's climate minister, Sherry Rehman, told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the COP27 summit in Egypt.

She lamented the glacial pace of climate diplomacy, saying it cannot meet the needs of a country struggling to recover from climate-fueled flooding that caused more than $30 billion in economic losses. "The political advances we make here will have very little meaning on the ground unless there is a transfer of resources that shifts the needle on how people face the future," she said.

Pakistan is playing a high-profile role at the COP27 summit in Egypt this year, serving as one of two co-chairs invited by conference host Egypt, with the other being Norway. Pakistan also represents the G77 umbrella group of developing countries, pushing for a doubling in finance to help poor nations adapt to climate impacts.

To date, only about a third of climate finance delivered has gone toward adaptation projects

, and the full sum promised - $100 billion per year - has never been paid in full. Last year saw just over $80 billion transferred. Pakistan was key to getting the thorny issue of "loss and damage" onto the official U.N. summit agenda - a diplomatic coup after decades of resistance from rich nations. The move opened the door for talks to address vulnerable countries' demand to be compensated when hit by climate-fueled disasters.

But incremental progress made in these discussions, which can go on for years, still wouldn't be enough for Pakistanis back at home to consider the talks a win, she said. "If I say, 'well, adaptation has now been put as a priority' ... or 'there's a a 50-50 allocation in terms of priority between mitigation-adaptation', it's not going to mean very much to somebody whose house has been burned down by a forest fire or somebody who has lost a family member in the floods," she said.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has called on rich countries to offer compensation and debt relief to help cover Pakistan's efforts to rebuild and fortify the country against more severe climate impacts. September's floods engulfed vast areas of the country, affecting some 33 million people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.

Rehman said that any new money pledged either for loss and damage or for adaptation needs to be followed up "with speed and agility", because countries like Pakistan have no time to waste. She said she supported the call by the United States, Britain and other countries to overhaul international financial institutions to better respond to the disasters expected as the atmosphere continues to warm.

"There is a recognition [at COP27] that we are facing a new climate normal for the world," she said. "But there still isn't a recognition that the financial system that's been running the world ... is not going to be able to bail out the millions that are dying and in need."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 12, 2022 at 7:35am

Pakistan needs $348bn to respond to climate, development challenges between 2023 and 2030: WB

https://www.dawn.com/news/1719930


The World Bank (WB) has estimated that the total investment needed for a comprehensive response to Pakistan’s climate and development challenges between 2023 and 2030 amounts to around $348 billion, according to a report at the UN’s climate summit on Wednesday.

The estimated amount — equal to 10.7 per cent of cumulative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the same period — was evaluated in the ‘Country Climate and Development Report’ for Pakistan, which was presented at the climate change summit held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

This amount consists of $152bn for adaptation and resilience and $196bn for deep de-carbonisation.

The report warned that the combined risks from the intensification of climate change and environmental degradation, unless addressed, would further aggravate Pakistan’s economic fragility and could ultimately reduce the annual GDP by 18pc to 20pc per year by 2050.

Between 6.5pc and 9pc of the GDP would likely be lost to climate change as increased floods and heatwaves reduce agriculture and livestock yields, destroy infrastructure, decrease labour productivity, and undermine health.

Additionally, water shortages in agriculture could reduce the GDP by more than 4.6pc and air pollution could impose a loss of 6.5pc of the GDP per year, the report warns.

It went on that a comprehensive climate-financing strategy would need to be developed with higher domestic resource mobilisation, more accountable and impactful allocation of public spending, and higher levels of international climate finance.

Given the size of expected climate shocks, the report deemed greater concessional international finance essential.

While the country “could and should forcefully make its case for this”, the report also stated that donors may be more willing to offer sustained support if revenue leakage and governance issues were systematically addressed.

Targets of nationally determined contribution
The report further asked the government to prioritise interventions that simultaneously deliver development outcomes and climate benefits and sequence policy actions realistically, based on their overall impact and relative urgency.

It, however, added that as the magnitude of the recent floods showed, the government may also be forced to evaluate some hard trade-offs between investing in climate adaptation and other development interventions.

The National Action Plan proposed under the nationally determined contribution (NDC) ought to be developed and implemented, the report said.

It added that mainstreaming climate priorities into broader development plans would be a critical starting point.

Furthermore, climate and disaster risk screening and climate budgeting should be embedded within the public financial management system to improve the transparency and efficiency of public spending on climate actions.

A climate-resilient, low-carbon, and equitable development pathway would enable Pakistan to reach its NDC targets, the report emphasised.

Financing composition available over next decade not enough
According to the report, the heatwave and devastating floods of 2022 call for urgent climate action in Pakistan.

The level of damage sustained is clearly the result of intensifying climate change but it also highlighted the lack of investment in adaptation and the concentrated exposure of population and vulnerable assets in high-risk areas, the report noted.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 12, 2022 at 7:36am

Pakistan needs $348bn to respond to climate, development challenges between 2023 and 2030: WB

https://www.dawn.com/news/1719930

It added that considering the scale of the shocks, Pakistan would need increased international support in order to build longer-term resilience or else its hard-won development gains and future aspirations could be jeopardised.

An illustrative assessment based on a retrospective review of the level of funding in recent years suggests that the current financing composition available over the next decade can be estimated to be around $39bn from public finance — including multilateral development banks financing — and $9bn from public-private partnerships for infrastructure projects.

However, the report deemed it to be not enough to address the identified priority transitions.

Possible measures to generate revenue
As Pakistan is calling for additional international financing, the report encouraged the government to explore the repurposing of subsidies in the energy, agriculture and water sectors along with improving tax and tariff collection.

This could be done while protecting the poorest and most vulnerable through well-targeted programmes and transfers, it suggested.

Specifically, it added that Pakistan could maintain its commitment to energy decarbonisation and accelerate comprehensive reform in the energy sector, including piloting the implementation of carbon pricing instruments.

The WB report estimated that if fully implemented, the combined revenue of these measures could result in around $10bn per year.

It also emphasised that the repurposing of existing subsidies was necessary for growth and climate resilience, and to do this effectively, the historical experience highlighted the need for careful communication and phasing of reform efforts.

This was to ensure a gradual process that has political and social acceptance, as well as the protection of poor households and farmers, especially during the transition.

The report’s key recommendations included phasing down the wheat support system, gradually removing the power tariff subsidy on electric tubewells, piloting new models for the solarisation of tubewells and incentivising water conservation to avoid an adverse impact on groundwater substantially.

Gradually phasing down the natural gas subsidy for chemical fertiliser production was also suggested.

Furthermore, it advised rechanneling fiscal savings from the reform of long-standing subsidies as smart subsidies to poorer farmers to promote resilient farming practices.

Adopting climate-smart practices, making Pakistan climate-resilient
Climate-smart and regenerative agricultural practices could reverse the decline in productivity, enhance the viability of the agri-food system, and reverse ecosystem degradation, the report said.

Key actions to be taken for the broad adoption of such practices included investing in research on context-specific methods for scaling up climate-smart and regenerative farming while improving coordination between research and dissemination.

Modernising extension services and improving access to credit, machinery, and technology were also recommended.

The report deemed it essential to invest in the development of sustainable value chains with a focus on access by smallholder farmers, potentially through participatory multi-stakeholder forums.

The report also called for making Pakistan’s cities more climate-resilient and livable which would enhance their competitiveness and lower emissions.

However, this would require investment and improved management of urban services, it noted.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 12, 2022 at 7:36am
Pakistan needs $348bn to respond to climate, development challenges between 2023 and 2030: WB

https://www.dawn.com/news/1719930


It further said that the way cities — major contributors to greenhouse gases and have high levels of air pollution — have developed and are managed, also makes them highly vulnerable to climate disasters.

The report estimated that if Pakistan reduced air pollution to internationally established standards, premature deaths could decline by up to 53pc by 2030 and be fully eliminated by 2040.

This would significantly cut health costs while achieving climate mitigation benefits.

Reforming the power sector
The report stressed there was an urgent need to strengthen the institutional and revenue generation capacity of local governments for improving service provision and attracting private investment.

Cities need to prioritise actions that create sustainable revenue streams for investment in resilient infrastructure and improved delivery of basic municipal services, it said.

The report stated that Pakistan’s energy and transport sectors were highly polluting and a drain on the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

It added that transitioning to sustainable energy and transport was feasible and would contribute significantly to development and climate goals.

Imported fossil fuels provide 43pc of the country’s energy supply and cost the country $13bn annually.

Even though electricity costs are high, the country’s reliability and quality of supply are poor. There are also gaps in access to electricity and clean cooking fuel, particularly in rural areas.

According to the WB report, the needed reforms in the power sector include the setting of cost-reflective tariffs, improving the targeting of subsidies, reducing the cost of generation and addressing inefficiencies in distribution.

Pakistan would also need to improve demand-side efficiency, with special attention given to industry and transport considering their significance in terms of energy consumption and long-term decarbonisation.

Analysis showed that a sustainable energy transition and the application of a carbon tax would support higher growth, reduce emissions and pollution and, with the right policies, protect the poor.

Population crisis
The report recommended that Pakistan needed to address its human capital crisis to sustain economic progress and the transition to a green and resilient economy.

One of the most important priorities facing the country was to improve the population’s health status, particularly child stunting, which affects 40pc of the population.

It further added that an accelerated decline in the fertility rate would have similarly large benefits for both equitable growth and resilience.

Accelerating the fertility decline in Pakistan to reach replacement levels by 2035 — instead of the currently projected timeline of 2050 — would reduce its expected population in 2050 from 336 million to about 303m, the report pointed out.
Comment by Riaz Haq on November 12, 2022 at 8:06am

Pakistan Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR)


https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/38277

Integrating climate and development is a pillar of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Climate Change Action Plan 2021-25. To advance its implementation, the WBG has launched the Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR). This new, core diagnostic tool analyzes how a country’s development goals can be achieved in the context of adapting to, and mitigating against, climate change. As such, the Pakistan CCDR provides analysis and policy recommendations on how to harmonize the country’s efforts to achieve further economic growth and lower poverty rates, on the one hand, with the pursuit of a climate-resilient, low-carbon, and equitable development path, on the other. In light of the devastating 2022 heatwaves and floods and the country’s vulnerability profile, the CCDR puts a strong emphasis on the need for building long-term resilience. Further, it explores pathways for Pakistan to achieve deep decarbonization by 2050, and eventually reach net-zero emissions by 2070 without undermining its development ambitions. It also provides assessment on technical, financial and institutional and governance frameworks needed for these climate transitions. Most importantly, it attempts to capture the centrality of people in climate policies by assessing how climate risks affect lives and livelihoods, and ways in which governments can build resilience and address poverty, distributional and job impact of climate change and climate actions. Lastly, it sheds lights on ways for Pakistan to galvanize cooperation between public and private sectors and support from international communities.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 13, 2022 at 8:15am

These Countries Have Pledged Loss & Damage Finance at UN Climate Change Conference COP27

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/loss-and-damage-announceme...

On Monday, Belgium’s Minister for Development Cooperation Frank Vandenbroucke said the country would provide €2.5 million (around US$2.5 million) in loss and damage funding for Mozambique, with the money expected to provide the climate-vulnerable East African nation with storm warning systems and advanced intel on at-risk coastal areas.

Austria’s Climate Ministry announced it would allocate €50 million from its existing budget over the next four years to fund loss and damage in the world’s most vulnerable countries, with Climate Minister Leonore Gewessler claiming her country was “becoming a pioneer in international climate financing.”


New Zealand joined Belgium and Austria, committing NZ$20 million (almost US$12 million) to loss and damage globally.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany would provide €170 million to the Global Shield Against Climate Risks initiative — a fund dedicated to providing climate risk insurance and prevention support for at-risk nations. Just over €80 million will be devoted to the “central financing structure” of the shield, with the rest for “complementary” climate risk programs.

On Wednesday, Canada joined Belgium, Austria, New Zealand, and Germany by redefining its climate spending, announcing that $24 million (about US$18 million) from the nation’s former $5.3 billion International Climate Finance Commitment would be dedicated to the “needs and priorities of developing countries.”

Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland Micheál Martin committed €10 million to the Global Shield initiative.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 13, 2022 at 5:30pm

COP27: India thwarts attempt to club it with historical polluters
In the run-up to COP27, India had said the MWP cannot be allowed to "change the goal posts" set by the Paris Agreement

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cop27-india-thwarts-attempt-...

Supported by other developing countries, India blocked an attempt by rich nations to focus on all top 20 emitters of carbon dioxide during discussions on the 'Mitigation Work Programme' at the ongoing U.N. climate summit in Egypt, sources said on Monday.

During the first week of the climate talks, developed countries desired that all top 20 emitters, including India and China, discuss intense emission cuts and not just the rich nations which are historically responsible for climate change, they said.

There are developing countries in the top 20 emitters, including India, that are not responsible for warming that has already occurred.

According to the sources, India pushed back the attempt with the support of like-minded developing countries, including China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan.

The "MWP should not lead to the reopening of the Paris Agreement" which clearly mentions that climate commitments of countries have to be nationally determined based on circumstances, India and other developing countries reportedly said.

At COP26 in Glasgow last year, parties acknowledged that a 45% reduction in global CO2 emissions by 2030 (as compared to 2010 levels) is required to limit average global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius.

Accordingly, they agreed to develop a Mitigation Work Programme (MWP) to "urgently scale up mitigation ambition and implementation". Mitigation means reducing emissions, ambition means setting stronger targets and implementation means meeting new and existing goals.

Coming into COP27, developing countries had raised concerns that rich nations, through the MWP, will push them to revise their climate targets without enhancing the supply of technology and finance.

In the run-up to COP27, India had said the MWP cannot be allowed to "change the goal posts" set by the Paris Agreement.

"In the Mitigation Work Programme, best practices, new technologies and new modes of collaboration for technology transfer and capacity building may be discussed fruitfully," the Union Environment Ministry had said.

An analysis by Carbon Brief shows the U.S. has released more than 509 Gt CO2 since 1850 and is responsible for the largest share of historical emissions, with some 20% of the global total. China is a relatively distant second, with 11%, followed by Russia (7%). India is in seventh place, with 3.4% of the cumulative total.

Earth's global surface temperature has increased by around 1.15 degree Celsius as compared to the pre-industrial (1850–1900) average and the CO2 spewed into the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution is closely tied to it. Major damage had already been done before 1990 when economies like India started to develop.

According to "Global Carbon Budget Report 2022", more than half of the world's CO2 emissions in 2021 were from three places — China (31%), the U.S. (14%), and the European Union (8%). At the fourth spot, India accounted for 7% of the global CO2 emissions.

However, at 2.4 tCO2e (tonne carbon dioxide equivalent), India's per capita greenhouse gas emissions are far below the world average of 6.3 tCO2e, according to a report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) last month.

Per capita emissions in the U.S. (14 tCO2e) are far above the global average, followed by Russia (13 tCO2e), China (9.7 tCO2e), Brazil and Indonesia (around 7.5 tCO2e each), and the European Union (7.2 tCO2e).

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