Millions of low-income small business owners and self-employed workers like Rashid are struggling to repair damage and recover lost earnings due to the torrential rains and flooding that have killed more than 1,000 people since June.

In Rashid’s home city of Karachi, the country’s largest, weeks of rain left the streets knee-deep in water and sludge and meant he could only work five days in July - Pakistan’s wettest for three decades.

“I earned not more than 10,000 rupees ($46),” Rashid, 43, said, comparing that to his usual monthly earnings of up to 100,000 rupees.

Facing a balance of payments crunch, Pakistan is finding it difficult to fund reconstruction efforts after the floods due to spending curbs as it awaits bailout money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The government has announced cash support to families, but almost nothing has been offered to small businesses for damaged property and goods, and many traders say they feel abandoned.

“(The government) is killing us slowly,” said Mohammad Hamid, 27, at his shop where he sells and repairs printers.

He said he suffered losses due to getting stuck daily for hours on Karachi’s flooded roads. But his biggest problem is soaring prices that are hiking the cost of doing business - and undoing his gradual recovery from the impact of Covid-19.

Annual consumer price inflation reached nearly 25 per cent in July, the highest in 14 years.

“The powder used in the ink cartridges of printers has become expensive, but customers refuse to pay me if I increase my charges proportionately,” said Hamid, who has been dipping into his savings to provide for his family of seven.

Read the full article about the impact of floods in Pakistan from Thomson Reuters Foundation at Eco-Business.