New Delhi :The World Bank’s new Vice President for the South Asia Region, Martin Raiser, today concluded his first official visit to Pakistan and reaffirmed the Bank’s commitment to support 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,” said Martin Raiser.
During his two-day visit, Mr. 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 private sector. In these meetings, Mr. Raiser discussed in detail the impact of the floods in Pakistan and the World Bank’s support.
“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 USD 2 billion to that effect,” added Mr. Raiser.
Mr. Raiser highlighted that Pakistan is among the world’s top ten countries most affected by climate change. He also encouraged the government to continue to focus on the successful implementation of ongoing investments in areas such as girls’ and boys’ learning, health, reduced stunting, social protection, energy transition, and climate resilience to lay the foundation for a sustained recovery from this year’s flood disaster.
Mr. Raiser also met Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister, Sindh. 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 the opportunity to see first-hand the extent of damages and meet affected households at a relief camp in Daddu District.
Mr. 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.
The World Bank in Pakistan
Pakistan has been a member of the World Bank since 1950. Since then, the World Bank has provided $40 billion in assistance. The World Bank’s program in Pakistan is governed by the Country Partnership Strategy for FY2015-2020 with four priority areas of engagement: energy, private sector development, inclusion, and service delivery. The current portfolio has 54 projects and a total commitment of $13.1 billion.