Sunday, September 25, 2022
ISLAMABAD: In order to provide immediate relief to the flood victims, the World Bank has announced repurposing $2 billion — meant for multi-sectoral projects in Pakistan — for the deluge-hit areas in the country.
World Bank's new vice president for the South Asia region, Martin Raiser, concluded his first visit to Pakistan and reaffirmed the Bank’s commitment to supporting the people of Pakistan in the wake of catastrophic flooding.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives and livelihoods due to the devastating floods and we are working with the federal and provincial governments to provide immediate relief to those who are most affected,” he said.
During his two-day visit, Raiser met with Ayaz Sadiq, Minister for Economic Affairs Division, Miftah Ismail, Minister of Finance and Revenue, Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue, Ahsan Iqbal, Minister of Planning and Development and Special Initiatives and Khurram Dastagir, Minister of Energy. He also met with Jameel Ahmed, Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Lieutenant General Akhtar Nawaz, Chairman National Disaster Management Authority, as well as representatives from think tanks and the private sector.
In the meetings, Raiser discussed in detail the impact of the floods in Pakistan and the World Bank’s support, The News reported.
“As immediate response, we are repurposing funds from existing World Bank-financed projects to support urgent needs in health, food, shelter, rehabilitation, and cash transfers. In addition to this, we are working with the federal and provincial authorities to prepare emergency operations to quickly start the reconstruction and rehabilitation to rebuild or repair infrastructure, housing and restore livelihoods, and to help strengthen Pakistan’s resilience to climate-related risks. We are envisaging financing of about $2 billion to that effect,” he said.
Raiser highlighted that Pakistan was among the world’s top 10 countries most affected by climate change. He also encouraged the government to continue to focus on successful implementation of ongoing investments in areas such as girls’ and boys’ learning, health, reduced stunting, social protection, energy transition, and climate resilience lay the foundation for a sustained recovery from this year’s flood disaster.
Raiser also met with Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. They discussed the impact of massive rains and recent floods and how the World Bank is supporting the government of Sindh with reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts. During his visit to Sindh, he was given an opportunity to see first-hand the extent of damages and meet affected households at a relief camp in Dadu district.
Raiser was joined in his meetings by the World Bank Country Director for Pakistan, Najy Benhassine, and the International Finance Corporation Country Manager, Zeeshan Ahmed Sheikh.