UPDATE 1-World Bank says about $1 bln of Pakistan crops lost

* World Bank says damages more than in 2005 earthquake

* Estimates one billion dollars of crop losses

* Considering redirecting 900 mln dollars in aid

(Adds background, quotes)

SIGULDA, Latvia, Aug 13 (BestGrowthStock) – World Bank President
Robert Zoellick said on Friday that floods in Pakistan may have
destroyed crops worth around $1 billion and that the
organisation was considering redirecting aid to the country.

Triggered by torrential monsoon downpours, the floods have
swamped Pakistan’s Indus river basin, killing more than 1,600
people, forcing two million from their homes and disrupting the
lives of about 14 million people. [ID:nSGE67C05H]

“An early assessment is that the damages are more than in
the earthquake in 2005,” he told a news conference during a
visit to Latvia. “The rough estimate is that there is a billion
dollars of losses of crops. All of us will have to pitch in to
help.”

Aid agencies said on Friday that water-borne disease
outbreaks posed new risks to victims, with already around 36,000
suspected cases of potentially fatal acute watery diarrhoea
reported so far.

Zoellick said he had word that a reconstruction needs
assessment team had landed in Pakistan on Friday with
representatives from the World Bank and the Asian Development
Bank. The World Bank was also considering redirecting aid.

“We’ve already started to think about reprogramming some of
our funding, and based on the government request we are looking
to see if we might reprogramme about 900 million dollars,”
Zoellick said after meeting the prime minister of Latvia.

Wheat, cotton and sugar crops have all suffered damage in a
country where agriculture is a mainstay of the economy.

The International Monetary Fund has warned of major economic
harm and Pakistan’s finance ministry said the country would miss
this year’s 4.5 percent gross domestic product growth target
although it was not clear by how much.

(Reporting by Aija Braslina via Stockholm newsroom; Editing
by Mark Heinrich)

UPDATE 1-World Bank says about $1 bln of Pakistan crops lost