Strategic shift towards ‘preparedness and resilience’ must: Masood Khan
Washington DC: World Bank would support Pakistan in dealing with massive devastation caused by the flooding by re-programming its existing activities and future programmes. The Bank would also re-purpose US$300 million to help flood victims and support flood relief.
Here in Washington, Ambassador Masood Khan, Pak’s envoy to the United States, has held discussions with World Bank Vice President Martin Raiser to apprise the Bank Vice President and his team about the magnitude of devastation caused by the deadly floods which has affected 33 million people, inundating one third area of the country.
The World Bank has been a steadfast development partner of Pakistan. Pakistan has been a member of the World Bank since 1950. Since then, the World Bank has provided $40 billion in assistance.
During the meeting, Ambassador Masood Khan said that despite contributing less than 1% of planet warming gases, Pakistan has remained one of the most affected countries due to the phenomenon of erratic climate change.
“The recent catastrophe has reinforced the need to review our strategy from mitigation and adaptation to preparedness and resilience”, Masood Khan said.
The Ambassador informed the delegation that the death toll had crossed 1355 while thousands have sustained injuries. On infrastructure and properties, over 6500 km of roads and 246 bridges have been damaged. Over 750,000 livestock has perished. With one third of the country submerged under water, the farmers have lost their standing crops of cotton and sugarcane costing them a huge loss in an agrarian economy, the Ambassador continued.
“The damage is way beyond what the government could alone tackle. We look forward to our friends, international community and our developmental partners to assist us meeting this challenge”, the Ambassador said.
Vice President World Bank Martin Raiser expressed his condolences over the loss of precious lives and other damages and said that the World Bank was assessing the situation on-ground and would help Pakistan in overcoming this calamity.
He also stated that he would soon be visiting the country to make an informed assessment about the cumulative damages and how best to help the government.
Ambassador Masood Khan, in his tweet, termed the meeting excellent and appreciated World Bank’s assistance for Pakistan. He said that Pakistan would work for strong partnership with the World Bank.