Water scarcity is the biggest threat to Pakistan’s economy: WEF report

November 25, 2018

 

Tarbela dam. Photo: AFP

The looming water scarcity is the biggest risk facing Pakistan’s economy, according to a World Economic Forum report.

The study reviewed the biggest risks to 140 economies across the globe.

It revealed that the biggest threat to Pakistan is water crisis, followed by unmanageable inflation, terrorist attacks, failure of urban planning and failure of critical infrastructure.

Related: Karachi dangerously close to a water crisis: Indian scientists

On inflation, the report states: “There are already indications of mounting price pressures in some countries: inflation in India increased from 1.5% in June 2017 to 5.1% in January 2018, while, in July this year, Pakistan’s inflation rate reached a four-year high.”

Among South Asian countries, the biggest risk was failure of national governance followed by inflation.

Interestingly, the biggest risk to India is cyber-attack followed by terrorism.

The study focused on 30 global risks including asset bubble, financial crisis, extreme weather events, food crisis, and manmade environmental catastrophe among others.

Pakistan can face absolute water scarcity, drought by 2025

Health experts have warned that Pakistan can approach absolute scarcity levels of water and face a drought as early as 2025.

Related: Sindh’s biggest problem is its water crisis 

These hazards, pose not only threats to individual health but also to economic growth, food security, and environmental sustainability, they said and added efforts to include environmental considerations in all phases of policy making, planning and development must be actively pursued.

Human health is profoundly affected by weather and climate, and despite considerable progress in health services delivery and reforms over the last few years, a mixture of environmental health challenges is emerging as a threat to healthcare services, the experts said and added that deaths from extreme weather events such as heat stress, along with cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, infectious disease outbreaks, and malnutrition are on the rise. On top of that, Punjab is experiencing a population boom and consequently, the burden of disease on limited healthcare resources is reaching critical levels.

 
 

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