Friday, September 23, 2022
The World Bank plans to provide flood-related support of up to $ 1.7 billion through existing and upcoming projects, says the bank's Regional Vice President for South Asia, Martin Raiser.
Martin Raiser, along with a delegation, called on Federal Minister for Power Engr Khurram Dastgir Khan on Thursday.
The minister apprised the vice president of the unprecedented destruction caused by floods in Pakistan. He briefed the WB delegation on the devastation and accompanying economic misery of the people.
The power minister further highlighted how the untiring efforts of his ministry and the government of Pakistan helped restore electricity in most of the flood-affected areas.
The minister assured the World Bank that the present government is committed to reforming the energy sector and increasing the recoveries while also bridging the inefficiencies.
Martin expressed his deep regret for the catastrophic floods and stated that the purpose of his visit was to evaluate the situation on the ground.
He further remarked that the World Bank has a huge portfolio in Pakistan. He said this could be in the form of strengthening social security programmes, new emergency operations to help rehabilitate and long-term resilience efforts.
According to the WB official, Pakistan has one of the largest energy portfolios of the World Bank. He added that Pakistan's policy shift toward renewables is a step in the right direction. He said this is a great opportunity for Pakistan to shift its energy matrix to renewables.
The WB official commended the minister for taking the right steps in terms of tariff adjustments regardless of the political cost, as the energy sector is macro-critical for the country's fiscal stability.
The World Bank delegation included Najy Benhassine, Country Director, Mr. Gailius J. Draugelis, Operations Manager, Ms. Teuta Kacaniku, Program Leader, Mr. Zeeshan Ahmed Sheikh, IFC Country Manager; and Ms. Ewa Sobczynska, Special Assistant to Vice President.