WB reallocates $150m for Pakistan

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Finance Minister welcomes the WB Regional Vice President and acknowledged the significant contribution

Shujaat Hamza

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has reallocated US$ 150 million for Pakistan to procure COVID-19 vaccines, South Asia Regional Vice President (SARVP), World Bank Hartwig Schafer said on Tuesday.

Talking to Minster for Finance at the Finance Division, the Vice President said “the WB is fully committed to providing assistance to the developing countries for the procurement of the Covid-19 vaccines and for the purpose, $150 million have been re-allocated for Pakistan by the Bank”.

Pakistan’s Country Director World Bank Najy Benhassine and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Waqar Masood were also present in the meeting.

The Finance Minister welcomed the World Bank Regional Vice President and acknowledged the significant contribution of the World Bank in the socio-economic development of the country since 1950s.

He welcomed World Bank Group’s proposed US$12 billion initiative to help developing countries procure COVID-19 vaccines to treat up to 1 billion people.

The Finance Minister appreciated the pivotal role currently being played by the World Bank in strengthening governance and service delivery in Pakistan through institutional reforms being undertaken with the support of development partners.

The Vice President thanked the Finance Minister for a warm welcome and said that World Bank greatly values its partnership with Pakistan and supports the reform agenda undertaken by the present government.

He also acknowledged the efforts made by Pakistan for effective management of the Covid-19 crisis.

The Vice President also praised Pakistan’s commitment for cleaner and greener environment and said that the reform momentum had to be sustained in the country.

During the meeting there was a review of the progress on World Bank’s two ongoing programs “Resilient Institutions for Sustainable Economy (RISE-II)”and “Program for Affordable and Clean Energy (PACE)” as these programs hold a central position in the Government’s social and economic reform paradigm.

It was observed that the programs are progressing satisfactorily.

The Finance Minister shared with the World Bank team that Pakistan would welcome the knowledge of the World Bank team to promote the skills of the IT graduates in the country.

The World Bank team conveyed their willingness for providing guidance and informed that the Bank was preparing an operation on digital economy with the Ministry of Information Technology. In his concluding remarks the Finance Minister thanked the delegation for World Bank’s continued guidance and collaboration on various development projects.