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Pakistan asks WB to divert $2b funds to flood-hit areas

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Islamabad also requests WB to explore possibilities for additional funding for reconstruction of flood-hit areas

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has requested the World Bank to divert $1.5 billion to $2 billion funding from slow-moving projects to the flood-affected areas of Pakistan under the repurpose programme. Islamabad also requested the WB to explore possibilities for additional funding for the reconstruction of flood-hit areas.

So far, the WB has indicated repurposing $850 million in addition to $350 million already committed by the bank to divert towards flood-hit areas. When contacted, Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha on Thursday said they asked the WB to explore possibilities to divert resources of $2 billion from slow-moving projects to flood-affected areas. She said the WB would work out details and then inform Islamabad about its decision on repurposing funds. She said Pakistan also requested the bank to explore additional funding as well, keeping in view medium to long-term requirements of reconstruction purposes.

Sources said there was also a possibility to ask the IMF for additional funding. Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail held a virtual meeting with Vice President World Bank Martin Raiser along with Country Director World Bank Najy Benhassine on Thursday. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, senior officers from the Finance Division and the World Bank also attended the meeting. The Finance minister welcomed the delegation to Pakistan and thanked the entire team for their continuous assistance. He apprised the delegation of the devastating impacts of floods. It was shared that one-third of the country was facing floods and a number of crops, especially wheat and cotton, had been severely hit. Such loss would have huge economic repercussions on the economic stability of the country.


RISE-II and PACE-II were also discussed in the meeting. The Finance minister shared that Pakistan was close to completion of RISE-II. Various energy reform proposals were deliberated in the meeting, especially related to solarization of tube-wells.

The VP World Bank appreciated the efforts of the Pakistan government in tackling the current challenging situation due to floods. The delegation recognized that the recent flood crisis played havoc with human lives as well as economic health of the county. The Finance minister thanked the World Bank team for their continuous support and facilitation and also shared that the current government was well-equipped to deal with these challenges. He apprised the delegation that the government was majorly focusing upon rebuilding projects in a climate resilient manner.

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