The DSA International Committee expresses its support for the people of Pakistan as they struggle with the present climate and debt crises. The devastating flooding caused by the rain has submerged one-third of the nation under water. This man-made climate disaster has killed nearly two thousand people and impacted more than 30 million people. To put that into context, that is nearly the entire population of Canada. These are the costs borne by nations of the Global South of a world system of expropriation that benefits fossil fuel corporations headquartered in the Global North.
These floods have brought about economic devastation in Pakistan. The nation is burdened by over $130 billion in sovereign debt and has an inflation rate of 27%, compared to the 8% inflation rate in the United States. While Pakistan is in this precarious position, nations in the Global North are pushing austerity policies on the working class through financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Pakistan is being forced to use much needed public money to pay back predatory loans from private creditors and the very nations that have contributed the most to the ever-worsening climate crisis. On top of this all, in the coming years, Pakistan is expected to pay the IMF hundreds of millions of dollars in punitive and counterproductive “surcharges” — a policy that the International Committee has called to eliminate altogether.
The people of Pakistan, who contributed less than one percent to global carbon emissions, need immediate climate financing to recover from the loss and damage they have sustained from the flooding. However, the United States and other Global North countries continue to block substantive discussion of climate finance for Global South countries facing current climate change-induced loss and damage in the UN climate talks. Currently, agreed upon climate finance goes only towards adapting to and mitigating climate change, with no recognition of the disproportionate burden of countries responding to devastating climate change impacts here and now.
We demand from the United States and the broader Global North, debt cancellation, including from private creditors, and grant-based finance for climate change-induced destruction in Pakistan. And we stand in solidarity with the Pakistani people, especially the Baloch people and Afghan refugees who have been particularly affected during this time of compounding crises.