THIRD MEETING OF BILATERAL & MULTI-LATERAL DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS HELD in Islamabad

The 3rd meeting of multi-lateral and bilateral development partners was chaired by Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar here on Friday. Besides having deliberations over the funding mechanisms for flood affectees and TDPs, a consensus was evolved on the establishment of Pakistan Disaster Management Fund. The meeting was informed that an amount of 1.167 billion dollars has been pledged by donors for the flood affectees as well as the TDPs.

The Minister in his introductory remarks welcomed all the participants to the meeting. He said, the meeting had been convened for the third time to consider the procedure for seeking opinion of the development partners/donors regarding disbursement of funding to both the TDPs and flood affectees, ensuring complete transparency and oversight mechanism.

The Minister apprised the meeting about the ongoing operation Zarb e Azb, saying that it intended to completely eradicate terrorist havens in the North Waziristan Agency areas. He said the murder in cold blood of innocent school children in Peshawar had only strengthened the nation’s resolve to put an end to the scourge of militancy. He said quarter of a million people had been displaced as a result of the massive operation against terrorists, placing the country’s economy under tremendous strain in addition to all the difficulties created due to large scale floods. Rehabilitation of such a large number of people was a big challenge, he said but added that with the cooperation of the development partners, this problem would (Inshallah) be overcome.

The Secretary EAD presented a brief review of decisions taken in the last meeting in November which included consultations with the development partners and governments stakeholders to firm up details of funding mechanisms being established. Similarly it was decided that focus would be laid on Cash Transfer Program, restructuring of Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) by World Bank to include NWA, TDPs. It was also decided that Pakistan Fund for Disaster Management spearheaded by ADB for flood control is being set up (Joint partnership with the GoP).

Secretary EAD said the total financing requirements for TDPs were $ 750 million as provided by S&M Sectt. Similarly an amount of 350 million USD was required for the Counter terrorism task force(CTTF). He said EAD would continue to coordinate and mobilize donor assistance for the above outlined implementation mechanism. Moreover SAFRON and FATA Secretariat in conjunction with S & M Secretariat shall lead and coordinate the operational and administrative activities relating to TDPs. EAD would also co-opt the services of a technical agency for cash transfer such as NADRA. The meeting was informed that EAD and concerned stakeholders would launch Implementation strategy in early February at Peshawar. The project documentation would be completed by the end of February 2015.

The meeting was further informed that in order to fully focus on issues arisen due to recent floods and in anticipation of such problems surfacing in future, the EAD and ADB in consultation with all the stake holders have jointly thrashed out details for establishment of the Pakistan Disaster Management Fund, the details of which were approved by the meeting today. The Fund has a proposed four pronged role including  Reconstruction & Rehabilitation, Livelihood Restoration, Disaster Prevention and Disaster Risk Finance. The Fund shall have a Steering Committee, a full-fledged Secretariat, Advisory Committee with ADB as the Trustee. Contribution to the fund would involve International donor community, annual contributions from Federal & Provincial Budgets, private sector and international philanthropy. EAD and ADB would jointly announce launching the Fund in Lahore in February.

Envoys of various countries including US, UK, Italy, Saudi Arabia, China, Korea, Japan and UAE, representatives of WB, ADB and DIFID re-pledged continued support to Pakistan for the TDPs and flood affectees.

Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar thanked all the participants for their cooperation and hoped with mutual efforts, the problems faced by the TDPs and flood affectees would be resolved in the coming month.