Friday May 24, 2024

Materialising $10.8bn flood assistance: Bilateral, multilateral partners attend IPSG meeting

By Mehtab Haider
March 31, 2023

ISLAMABAD: In order to materialise over $10.8 billion in assistance for reconstruction in the flood-affected areas, the government has constituted the International Partners Support Group (IPSG) to ensure improved coordination with multilateral and bilateral creditors to speed up loan disbursement.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq chaired the maiden meeting of the IPSG at the Prime Minister’s Office here on Thursday.

The meeting was attended by a large number of bilateral and multilateral development partners, and senior diplomats, including ambassadors of the USA, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Europe Union (EU), Australia, China, France, the Netherlands, the UK, Canada, Russia, Italy, Azerbaijan, Qatar, Turkey, Republic of Korea and Japan.

United Nations Resident Coordinator, Resident Representatives of UNDP Pakistan, country heads and representatives from UNICEF, Asian Development Bank, World Bank, IMF, USAID, FCDO, Islamic Development Bank and Italian Cooperation Agency also attended.

Ayaz thanked the participants for their continued support and commitment to a climate-resilient Pakistan and highlighted the purpose of constituting the IPSG as a forum to facilitate coordinated implementation of the 4RF.

He expressed hope that the IPSG would be helpful in securing financial and other commitments for the implementation of climate resilient projects over the coming years. He also appreciated the role of UNDP as the secretariat of IPSG.

Knut Ostby, Resident Representative UNDP Pakistan, highlighted that wide scale of destruction and human suffering caused by floods 2022 had reminded them of the urgency for collective action and solidarity to tackle the existential threat of climate change. He stressed that the recovery process ahead was not a one-time event but would require sustained efforts, collaboration, and commitment. He hoped that the IPSG will provide sustained strategic direction to the recovery process.

Secretary Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives and Chairman Planning & Development Board of Sindh made detailed presentations on the recovery and reconstruction efforts.

USAID Mission Director and Unicef representatives highlighted their work in Pakistan and emphasized the need for building back better by investing in the future with special focus on human development.

UNICEF also highlighted the need for immediate action to deal with increasing cases of malnutrition among children in affected areas.

The meeting proceeded with a detailed discussion session between the government representatives and International Development Partners including the EU, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

The international development partners appreciated the setting up of the forum and the initiative of the government in line with the Geneva declaration.

UN Resident Coordinator stressed that there was still urgent need for humanitarian assistance in the flood affected areas of Sindh and Balochistan.

It is pertinent to mention that Ministry of Economic Affairs notified IPSG on 17th March, 2023. It is a 41-member group comprising federal ministries and international development partners. Minister for Economic Affairs is the convener of IPSG whereas UNDP Pakistan will provide secretariat support.