World Bank to devote 1 billion U.S. dollars for Pakistan flood recovery

September 20, 2010 10:36 am 

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 20 — The World Bank Group on Sunday said it will devote 1 billion U.S. dollars in additional external finance for flood recovery efforts in Pakistan for the present fiscal year.

The statement came as President of the World Bank Robert B. Zoellick addressed a UN high-level meeting on the flood emergency response in Pakistan, which opened here at the UN Headquarters in New York.

"Maybe we can turn tragedy into an opportunity, but we'll only succeed if the government truly takes ownership and is backed seriously by donors," said Zoellick.

Intense monsoon rains began to downpour in Pakistan on July 22. Continued rainfall resulted in widespread floods that have affected an estimated 20 million people, with eight to twelve million people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, according to UN reports.

In order for Pakistan to effectively use aid funds and secure additional donations, "the government will need a reconstruction founded on transparency, accountability, flexibility backed by law, " said Zoellick. "We have to work through Pakistani institutions."

Zoellick underlined Pakistan's central role in sustaining relief and reconstruction efforts. "We've seen fantastic capabilities with the Pakistani rescue efforts. We need to continue these and broaden these to the civilian and political segments."

"We're going to need Pakistanis to pay for Pakistan if we're going to be able to mobilize the world to pay for Pakistan," he said.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Pakistani foreign minister and co- chair of the high-level meeting, reiterated Zoellick's call for Pakistan to take the lead in its emergency response plan.

"National resource mobilization is essential to reflect the seriousness of Pakistanis to rebuild their own country. I can assure you, we will leave no stool un-turned," said Qureshi. (PNA/Xinhua)

ALM/ebp

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