Home / News / World /  World Bank pledges $2 billion in aid to flood-hit Pakistan

The World Bank has announced that it will financially assist Pakistan with $2 billion for reconstruction and rehabilitation, including food, shelter, and other urgent needs of the victims of the most recent devastating floods.

Martin Raiser, the new vice president of the World Bank for the South Asia region, made the announcement on Saturday in a statement released at the conclusion of his trip to Pakistan.

“As an immediate response, we are repurposing funds from existing World Bank-financed projects to support urgent needs in health, food, shelter, rehabilitation, and cash transfers," the statement said.

In an earlier meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, the World Bank had committed to providing $850 million for flood relief. The amount has now been increased to $2 billion.

The current portfolio has 54 projects and a total commitment of $13.1 billion, according to the World Bank resident mission in Islamabad, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The World Bank group’s portfolio supports reforms and investments to strengthen institutions, particularly in fiscal management and human development.

Raiser said, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives and livelihoods due to the devastating floods and we are working with the federal and provincial governments to provide immediate relief to those who are most affected."

The UN had also launched a $160 million flash appeal for immediate relief for the victims of the devastating floods in Pakistan, but it quickly became clear that this amount would not be sufficient after officials from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) estimated that the floods had resulted in losses of $40 billion.

Pakistan has seen unprecedented suffering because of the country's worst floods triggered by record rain in three decades.

According to official statistics, since mid-June, there have been massive floods that have resulted in more than 33 million people being affected and over 1,600 fatalities, leaving the government in need of international assistance.

The World Bank's commitment is so far the biggest help to Pakistan in dealing with the huge devastation.

(With inputs from PTI

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