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World Bank assures support to Pakistan’s development targets

By Our Correspondent
January 26, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank on Monday assured Pakistan of its continuous support to help the country in achieving the priority development objectives, including human capital development, poverty alleviation, revenue mobilisation and economic reforms.

The World Bank Country Director Najy Benhassine said they are taking inputs from all the key stakeholders to help Pakistan overcome social and economic challenges under its new five-year country partnership framework.

Benhassine said the World Bank Group has initiated the process of preparing a new country partnership framework (CPF) for Pakistan that will outline its strategic support in the country for the next five years starting from FY2022.

“The World Bank has started countrywide consultations with key stakeholders, including government, parliamentarians, private sector, civil society organisations and development partners to gather diverse views from stakeholders on Pakistan’s economic and social challenges and the ways in which the World Bank Group can support the government in addressing these challenges,” he said during a meeting with Minister for Economic Affairs Khusro Bakhtyar.

The meeting was aimed to discuss the development priorities of Pakistan for the next five years and to seek guidance and views of minister for economic affairs to accommodate those priorities in the next World Bank Country Partnership Strategy for the period FY2022-26.

The World Bank’s country partnership strategy for FY2015-2020 for Pakistan with four priority areas of energy, private sector development, inclusion, and service delivery has the current portfolio of 46 projects with a net commitment of $9.1 billion.

The WB country director said the next framework will broadly focus on four strategic areas: education, health, environment and growth and improved governance as an enabler. Bakhtyar stressed the need to focus more on the basics where Pakistan critically lags, such as human capital, poverty alleviation, stunting, revenue mobilisation and economic reforms. He also emphasised on avoiding thin spreading of resources and focus concentrating resources on priority areas for achieving greater impact.

“The government desires to enhance the role of private sector and for that private sector will be encouraged to take lead in economic development of the country,” he said in a statement.

The meeting was attended by Secretary Ministry of Economic Affairs, Operations Officers of World Bank and IFC. The World Bank team was for hailed extending their continuous support to the government of Pakistan in achieving sustainable economic development in the country.