A World Bank delegation called on Power Minister Khurram Dastgir in the backdrop of widespread flash floods
Martin Raiser, the World Bank's Regional Vice President for South Asia, said the bank plans to provide up to $ 1.7 billion in flood-related assistance through existing and upcoming projects.
On Thursday [September 22], Martin Raiser led a delegation to meet with Federal Minister of Power Engr Khurram Dastgir Khan in Islamabad.
The minister informed the WB's vice president about Pakistan's unprecedented flood destruction. He briefed the World Bank delegation on the devastation and people's economic misery.
The power minister further highlighted how the untiring efforts of his ministry and the government of Pakistan helped restore electricity in most of the flood-affected areas.
The minister assured the World Bank that the present government is committed to reforming the energy sector and increasing the recoveries while also bridging the inefficiencies.
Martin expressed his deep regret for the catastrophic floods and stated that the purpose of his visit was to evaluate the situation on the ground.
He further remarked that the World Bank has a huge portfolio in Pakistan. He said this could be in the form of strengthening social security programmes, new emergency operations to help rehabilitate and long-term resilience efforts.
According to the WB official, Pakistan has one of the largest energy portfolios of the World Bank. He added that Pakistan's policy shift toward renewables is a step in the right direction. He said this is a great opportunity for Pakistan to shift its energy matrix to renewables.
The WB official commended the minister for taking the right steps in terms of tariff adjustments regardless of the political cost, as the energy sector is macro-critical for the country's fiscal stability.
The World Bank delegation included Najy Benhassine, Country Director, Mr. Gailius J. Draugelis, Operations Manager, Ms. Teuta Kacaniku, Program Leader, Mr. Zeeshan Ahmed Sheikh, IFC Country Manager; and Ms. Ewa Sobczynska, Special Assistant to Vice President.