In Islamabad, The World Bank has emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts to ensure that Pakistan receives $2 billion in program and project loans during the current fiscal year. To unlock these funds, the international financial institution has set a key condition: the successful achievement of agreed-upon indicators by both federal and provincial governments. Failure to meet these prerequisites will impede the disbursement of the $2 billion.
The Economic Affairs Division (EAD) officially announced this development, revealing that World Bank Country Director Najy Benhassine recently met with interim Finance Minister Dr. Shamshad Akhtar. During their meeting, they assessed the overall performance of the World Bank’s ongoing projects in Pakistan and explored various options for expanding collaboration in priority areas to stimulate economic growth within the country.
Dr. Akhtar, in welcoming the World Bank team, reiterated Pakistan’s appreciation for its development partnership with the bank. She praised the efforts of the World Bank management, particularly the country team in Islamabad, for their contributions to Pakistan’s economic development.
Benhassine, while briefing the finance minister on the ongoing portfolio, indicated that the World Bank, in collaboration with Pakistan’s Ministry of Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, and Privatization, is working to improve the implementation performance of ongoing projects and maximize the disbursement of foreign resources. The joint efforts aim to achieve disbursements of approximately $2 billion during the current fiscal year 2023-24.
The minister shared the government’s reform agenda and ongoing efforts to stabilize the economy. She highlighted the government’s awareness that implementing reforms in priority sectors, particularly in energy, will unlock Pakistan’s growth potential. As a result, policy reforms in the energy sector will remain a top focus for the Pakistani government.
The country director briefed the minister on the progress of the RISE-II Development Policy Financing Program, which the World Bank recently negotiated with the EAD.
The minister acknowledged the World Bank’s immediate support during the 2022 floods. However, given the extensive post-flood rehabilitation and reconstruction needs in the country, she requested the country director’s continued support to better address Pakistan’s emergency requirements.