The World Bank emphasized the necessity of a joint approach to facilitate the allocation of a substantial $2 billion in project and program loans to Pakistan within the current fiscal year.
The World Bank’s financial initiative is tied to specific requirements, with the primary clause being the achievement of specific deliverables by Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments, as stipulated in the mutually agreed indicators. Consequently, failing to fulfil these agreed-upon conditions will halt the planned disbursement of the $2 billion fund.
Stepping up Collaboration
The Economic Affairs Division (EAD) divulged details of a pivotal meeting between World Bank Country Director Najy Benhassine and interim Finance Minister Dr. Shamshad Akhtar to reinforce and expand the collaborative efforts to stimulate economic growth within Pakistan. The meeting served as a platform for assessing the effectiveness of the World Bank’s existing portfolio in Pakistan and to ponder various avenues to amplify collaboration in priority sectors.
During the gathering, Dr. Akhtar extended a warm welcome to the World Bank delegation, reinforcing that Pakistan holds the collaboration with the bank in high regard. She expressed her appreciation for the dedicated endeavours of the World Bank management, particularly the country team based in Islamabad, in contributing to Pakistan’s economic development.
Charting a Progressive Pathway
Benhassine, in his conversation with the finance minister, shed light on the concerted efforts being put forth by the World Bank Management in synergy with Pakistan’s Ministry of Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, and Privatisation. Their collective mission revolves around enhancing the effectiveness of the current portfolio’s implementation and amplifying the quantum of foreign resource disbursements. He highlighted an ambitious target of facilitating disbursements nearing $2 billion in the ongoing financial year 2023-24.
Dr Akhtar elucidated the government’s reform agenda and the active strides to stabilize the national economy. She underscored that the Pakistani government acknowledges the pivotal role of reform implementation in priority sectors, specifically focusing on the energy sector, to unlock the nation’s growth trajectory. Thus, initiating policy reforms in this segment is the government’s top priority.
Moreover, the discussion also touched upon the advancements within the RISE-II Development Policy Financing Programme, a project that the World Bank recently negotiated in conjunction with EAD. Dr. Akhtar lauded the World Bank’s swift assistance during the devastating floods in 2022. However, acknowledging the immense rehabilitation and reconstruction needs that have arisen post-floods, she urged Benhassine to augment the World Bank’s support to address the urgent necessities of the nation better.