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Pakistan's Prime Minister says the country's economic growth could fall by a full two percentage points because of the flooding disaster, and that would lead to "massive" job losses. He also predicts a grim couple of years for the already fragile state.
Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan's Prime Minister, said, "Pakistan's economy grew by 4.1 percent during the last year and was expected to grow 4.5 percent during the current fiscal year. The damage caused by the floods will bring down the real GDP growth to 2.5 percent for the fiscal year 2011. This economic loss will translate into massive job losses and incomes of thousands of families. Consequently it may have serious social implications."
The floods began over a month ago in northwest Pakistan after extremely heavy monsoon rains, and surged south along the Indus River and its tributaries.
The scale of the disaster has raised concerns about the stability of the country. The army, along with international aid agencies, are struggling to reach the some 8 million people who are still in need of emergency assistance.
The floods have receded in parts of north and central Pakistan but are continuing in the south.
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