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STOCKHOLM – H&M Foundation has said it will donate US$250,000 to help support those affected by the flooding in Pakistan which comes as the country is experiencing abnormal monsoon rainfall nearly three times higher than the past 30-year average. The money will go to the Red Cross/Red Cresent to support the people affected.

According to reports, the flooding, which has been dubbed the “monsoon on steroids,” has killed 1,150 people while around 33 million have been affected.

In its wake, flash floods also washed away swathes of vital crops, including at least 45 per cent of Pakistan’s cotton crop, from key provinces Singh and Punjab.

Pakistan was already suffering from soaring inflation of 25 per cent and only has enough foreign currency reserves for about a month’ worth of imports. An IMF bailout now seems inevitable and, to this end, Pakistan will be following in the footsteps of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh which are also experiencing serious foreign currency reserve issues right now.

The Pakistan government estimates that between 500,000 and 1m hectares of crops have been flooded in the Punjab region alone. This is the country’s agricultural heartland and a huge export cash-cow.

In terms of the relief response, Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) is working on the ground with the support of International Federation Red Cross (IFRC) and Red Cross/Red Cresent Partner-National Societies.

Last week, the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) said flooding and drought are having a serious impact on the global cotton sector. Reduced crops in Pakistan, as well as the US, could place upward pressure on prices. The global cotton market is also being squeezed by the ban on Xinjiang cotton by many leading fashion brands.

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