ISLAMABAD-World Bank has assured Pakistan to lend support for long-term reconstruction efforts after devastating floods in the country and repurposing the funds under existing projects for the procurement of emergency equipment. 

Martin Raiser, Vice President of World Bank for South Asian Region, called on the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq. Matters of mutual interest were discussed in the meeting. Minister for Economic Affairs welcomed the Vice President World Bank to his office and extended warm wishes on taking charge of Vice President World Bank. 

He apprised him that Pakistan values reciprocal and congenial relations with the World Bank- South Asian Region. “The World Bank’s assistance has played and shall continue to play a vital role in the socio-economic uplift of Pakistan”, said Minister for Economic Affairs. He further expressed gratitude to World Bank for its flood relief assistance to the country. “We are extremely well-supported by World Bank’s team.’’ said the Minister.

Speaking on the occasion, minister highlighted the unprecedented monsoon down poured flooding that Pakistan is facing and immeasurable destruction caused by it. He further apprised the Vice President that more than seven million people have been displaced, according to latest figures – the death toll due to floods has reached to 1600, 600,000 flood affected women are expecting, malnutrition and water-borne diseases are increasing day by day. “Pakistan is getting financial assistance from all over the world but we still need more support as the devastation is immeasurable.” said the minister. The Vice President expressed heartfelt condolences on the devastating floods in Pakistan and assured complete assistance from World Bank. 

“In this difficult time of Pakistan, we are ready to support and provide as much assistance as we can.” said Martin Raiser. He further highlighted that the World Bank is repurposing the funds under existing projects for the procurement of emergency equipment. He assured to lend support for long-term reconstruction efforts. Moreover, he expressed his desire to cooperate in energy sector and stated that we should concentrate our attention to move both processes parallel. 

In his concluding remarks, the minister assured the Vice President World Bank about the efficient disbursement of funds and apprised him about the monitoring and implementation mechanism of continuous meetings of National Coordination Committee on Foreign Funded Projects and Steering Committee for Coordination regarding International Assistance for Flood Relief Activities. Vice President appreciated and assured additional assistance. Earlier, the World Bank had pledged to immediately re-disburse $850 million to help Pakistan in flood relief efforts. President of the World Bank David R. Malpass has stressed that Pakistan should be prioritized for reconstruction through the collective support of the international community. He was talking to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in New York on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly. The president expressed sympathy and condolence over the damage and destruction caused by the flood. He also expressed the World Bank Group’s willingness to help Pakistan in its reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.