Islamabad, Thursday September 09, 2010 – Isabel Guerrero, World Bank Vice President for South Asia, today reiterated the Bank’s commitment to support Pakistan in recovery and reconstruction from the devastation wrought by the floods that continue to unfold in southern parts of the country.
During a three-day visit to Pakistan, Guerrero called on President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and key officials, including the government’s economic team to update them on the progress made on Damage and Needs Assessment (DNA) being jointly led by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank for assessing the damage and reconstruction needs in the wake of the floods.
“Central coordination and local implementation should be key features of whatever institutional framework is established to manage the reconstruction program”, said Guerrero. “In areas such as cash transfers, asset compensation, housing entitlements, and land reclamation, citizens should expect transparent and uniform standards to ensure equity and reduce discretion in the implementation of policies.”
Guerrero said that accountability and transparency will be of paramount importance to attract donor financing and to reassure donors that aid will reach those who need it most. She also stressed that it is vital for the Government to take concrete measures to demonstrate that transparency and fiduciary controls over aid money are a high priority. The Bank is willing to assist in setting up instruments to track aid flows, and establishing sound procurement practices, grievance mechanisms, and robust monitoring and evaluation systems.
Guerrero also met with development partners to enhance donor coordination and to find ways for increased effectiveness of development and bilateral finances.
“In addition to making US $1 billion available for flood related reconstruction and encouraging international community to come to Pakistan’s aid, the Bank will continue to support Government’s efforts to improve domestic revenue mobilization and to re-prioritize existing public investment program to take account of the floods,” Guerrero said. “Moving ahead with tax and energy reforms is important not only for growth, but also because it shows the commitment of Government to do its part to address challenges.”
Guerrero was accompanied during her visit by Michal Rutkowski and John Henry Stein, Sector Directors for Human and Sustainable Development, World Bank South Asia region, respectively.