World Bank To Provide Financial Support of $1.3b To Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: Regional Director World Bank for Sustainable Development John A Roome on Wednesday said that the bank would provide financial support of $1.3 billion to Pakistan for an emergency, agriculture and housing relief.

According to an official statement, the regional director WB said this during a meeting with Minister for National Food Security and Research Tariq Bashir and apprised him about the board meeting in December.

He said that the bank will also provide financial support to floods and rains-affected farmers of Pakistan by providing them subsidised urea.

Speaking on the occasion, Tariq Bashir Cheema said that floods and rains had resulted in colossal losses for the farming community and the government was trying to provide relief and assistance to the poor farmers for their rehabilitation.

While appreciating the support extended by the World Bank for flood relief and rehabilitation of the affected farmers, he said that the natural calamity was unforeseen and the affected farmers need a helping hand to recover and return to normal.

Tariq Bashir emphasised on enhancing coordination among the federal government, provincial governments, World Bank and other stakeholders to provide relief and help the needy on the most urgent basis to revive agriculture in flood-hit areas in the country.

Read more: Floods sweep future from schoolchildren

The minister assured full support from the ministry for the projects and initiatives by the World Bank in Pakistan and said that relief and assistance to the farming community will help in achieving food security.

Additional Secretary, Ministry of Nation Food Security and Research Muhammad Asif apprised that the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) database can help to identify the farmers for the targeted subsidy.

Moreover, the National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) has developed a digital application which can help in delivering to the farmers.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq appreciated the World Bank for its decades-long assistance, which he said had played and would continue to play a vital role in the socioeconomic uplift of Pakistan.

The minister was talking to John A. Roome and Country Director WB, Najy Benhassine who called on him.

Ayaz Sadiq appreciated the WB for being one of the major development partners that extended substantial financial support of $ 31.1 billion to Pakistan since the 1950s.

He also expressed gratitude to the World Bank for its flood relief assistance to Pakistan.

“We are well-supported by the World Bank’s team.’’ the minister said and highlighted that bank’s interventions cover all major sectors of the economy including infrastructure, agriculture, rural and urban development, human capital, social service as well as economic growth.

The minister said the Ministry of Economic Affairs has now changed its role from just a facilitator in the signing of agreements to ensuring monitoring and fund utilisation of projects in a most optimal way.

He apprised the WB official that the ministry was monitoring the projects through continuous meetings of the National Coordination Committee on Foreign Funded Projects and Steering Committee for Coordination regarding international assistance for flood relief activities.

On the occasion, the Regional Director, Roome appreciated the facilitation and proactive role of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

He discussed WB’s pipeline projects for supporting post-flood rehabilitation and reconstruction activities, particularly in the province of Sindh and Balochistan, and highlighted the need to push forward the implementation of these projects through effective coordination with the provinces.