Islamabad, Friday July 16, 2010 – Isabel Guerrero, World Bank Vice President for South Asia, today reiterated the Bank’s commitment to help Pakistan get back on the path to strong growth for reducing poverty.
During a two-day visit to Pakistan, Guerrero called on President Asif Ali Zardari and key officials, including the government’s economic team led by the Federal Minister for Finance Dr. Hafiz Shaikh to update them on the progress made on issues of mutual interest since her last visit in April this year, and to introduce Rachid Benmessaoud, the World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.
“The World Bank Board of Directors has just discussed a new Country Partnership Strategy for Pakistan which envisages financial support of up to US $6.2 billion for Pakistan over a four-year period,” Guerrero said. “Improving economic governance, human development and social protection, improving infrastructure to support growth, and helping Pakistan cope with the impact of conflict and reducing the probability of future conflicts are the main pillars of the World Bank support to Pakistan going forward”
Ms. Guerrero commended the government’s economic management team on the progress made in economic and finance reforms. She underlined the need for staying on the reform path and redoubling the efforts aimed at reducing fiscal deficit and improving tax to GDP ratio. Guerrero also discussed the progress made by the Bank Group in strengthening local resources to better assist the country, especially in the fields of rural development, energy sector and water resource management. Guerrero also reviewed with the government’s economic team the progress made in setting up a Multi-donor Trust Fund for development in conflict-hit border areas in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Balochistan.
Guerrero also met with development partners to share views on ways to enhance effectiveness of development and bilateral finances.
‘’The World Bank will focus on strengthening its coordination work with Pakistan’s development partners to help support the government,’’ said Guerrero.
Guerrero also discussed the status of social sector and human development programs under implementation with the support of International Development Association (IDA), the concessionary lending arm of the World Bank Group.