ISLAMABAD-World Bank’s Regional Vice president for South Asia, Martin Raiser has said that the bank has a huge portfolio in Pakistan as the bank plans to provide flood related support of up to $ 1.7 billion through existing and new projects.

World Bank’s Regional Vice president for South Asia, Martin Raiser along with a delegation called on Federal Minister for Power Engr Khurram Dastgir Khan Thursday. Minister apprised the vice president about the unprecedented destruction caused by floods in Pakistan. He briefed on the devastation and accompanying economic misery of the people. He further highlighted how the untiring efforts of the Ministry and Government of Pakistan helped restore electricity in most of the flood affected areas. Minister assured the World Bank that present government is committed to reform the energy sector and increase the recoveries together with bridging the inefficiencies. Martin expressed his deep regret on the catastrophic floods and coined that the purpose of his visit is to access the situation on ground. He further remarked that World Bank has a huge portfolio in Pakistan. WB plans to provide flood related support of up to $1.7 billion through existing and new projects. This could be in form of strengthening of social security programs, new emergency operations to help rehabilitate, long term resilience efforts.

“Pakistan has one of the largest energy portfolio of World Bank anywhere in the world”, said Vice President. He added that Pakistan’s policy shift towards renewable is the step in the right direction. This a great opportunity for Pakistan to shift its energy matrix to renewable. He commended the minister for taking the right steps in term of tariff adjustments regardless of the political cost, as energy sector is macro critical for country’s fiscal stability. The World Bank delegation included Najy Benhassine, Country Director, Gailius J. Draugelis, Operations Manager, Teuta Kacaniku, Program Leader, Zeeshan Ahmed Sheikh, IFC Country manager, Ms. Ewa Sobczynska, Special Assistant to Vice President.a