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ISLAMABAD: The government of Pakistan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Thursday signed five financing agreements of $775 million to support recovery and reconstruction efforts, in the flood-affected areas of Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Sindh.

These projects will support reconstruction and rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage structures, flood risk, and on-farm water management, as well as improving power and transport infrastructure in the flood-affected provinces. The signed agreements also include a project to improve access to quality employment for skilled workers in Punjab. Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs witnessed the signing of five financing agreements between the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) and the ADB. Dr Kazim Niaz, secretary EAD and Asad Aleem, deputy country director ADB signed the financing agreements.

The financing agreements include $475 million concessional loan Emergency Flood Assistance Project to support recovery and reconstruction efforts in Pakistan following this year’s devastating floods, and to strengthen the country’s disaster and climate resilience. This loan is the most concessional loan ever extended by ADB to the Government of Pakistan at one percent interest rate with a repayment period of 40 years.

A $189 million under Second Power Transmission Enhancement Investment Program (Tranche 4) was also inked for post-calamity restoration of power infrastructure, including transmission lines and substations, in the geographical regions affected by the recent floods.

Floods deteriorate FY23 economic outlook: ADB

Another financing agreement amounting to US$ 100 million was also signed to upgrade 20 institutions and develop four Centers of Excellence to train 96,000 people (Women: 29,000) in priority economic sectors of light engineering, textile and garments, food processing, information communications technology, tourism and hospitality, automobile/motorbike assembly, parts and repair, health and construction across Punjab.

Two project readiness financing facilities for preparing Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Water Resources Development Project (US$ 3.6 Million) and Naulong Dam Project (US$ 5 Million) were also signed.

Ayaz Sadiq appreciated the president, senior management and Board of Directors of ADB for their continued and enhanced financial support towards rehabilitation and reconstruction of flood-affected infrastructure, development of TVET institutional framework as well as development of water resources in the country.

The Minister for Economic Affairs stated that the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) Report, launched in November this year, estimates requirement of US$ 16.3 billion for reconstruction efforts.

The ADB financing is first in the series of development assistance for flood reconstruction that the federal government would arrange in the coming year. He also congratulated the federal government departments for designing and seeking approval of the flood-related projects in a record time of two months.

Eugene Zhukov, ADB’s Director General for Central and West Asia Department that includes Pakistan expressed that the ADB has approved and committed financing of US$2.67 billion to Pakistan during 2022. ADB will continue to support the government of Pakistan’s development priorities and stands committed to support Pakistan for a green, resilient and sustainable recovery.

The federal minister said that resource envelop of $ 2.67 billion provided by the ADB is evidence of the confidence international development partners have shown in the current government’s policies and rejected all rumours being spread in the media about a possible default.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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Dr. Mahmood Ahmad Dec 16, 2022 07:08am
In order to chart a new post flood rehabilitation approach, Ahmad/RIZQ teamed up to test a hybrid policy to combine old and new thinking in providing post flood support in Southern Punjab, which is to be expanded in other provinces as resources are made available. In the short term, the support was tailored to meet the immediate needs of the neediest which included to provide humanitarian aid in Southern Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan after identifying the most affected areas. In medium to long term our research based on pilot at Ahmad Nagar plans providing interesting cost saving investments for post flood policy options such as among a long list of identified technologies, practices, and key policies needed to move forward we shortlisted as (1) farm water storage; (2) farm laser land leveling; (3) raise beds; (4) mulching; (5) solar-based tube wells or rain guns to save water; and (4) community-based biogas plants, along with a prioritized set of practices and policies to implement proposed actions. All these investment and less costly and more resilient , especially raise bed and mulching. A paper on this topic is shared on 14 December, 2022 with Business Recorder to be published carries more details, hope it comes out timely and has good ideas for this ADB investment possibilities
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