ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Pakistan on Thursday signed an agreement to invest $220 million in rebuilding infrastructure damaged by the 2014 floods, and to increase the country’s disaster risk management capacity.
Pakistan’s Finance Minister and ADB Governor Mohammad Ishaq Dar witnessed the signing of the agreement by Mohammad Saleem Sethi, Secretary Economic Affairs Division, and Werner E. Liepach, ADB’s Country Director for Pakistan.
“ADB will continue to assist Pakistan in building hazard-resilient infrastructure in the face of frequent flooding and extreme weather events as result of the challenges posed by the climate change,” said Werner E. Liapach.
He said this assistance under Flood Emergency Reconstruction and Resilience Project will help restore economic and livelihood activities of the communities affected by floods in 2014 by rebuilding damaged road, bridges, and flood protection structures.
According to a press release, rebuilding the priority infrastructure will help stimulate economic activities of 2.5 million people in 44 districts affected by the 2014 floods that damaged 445,000 hectares of agricultural land. This investment is designed to build back better to multi-hazard standards in order to protect the infrastructure from future disasters.
The project, to be completed by June 2018, will reduce hardship of about a quarter of a million people in the worst-hit areas.
A $2 million technical assistance grant will be utilized to mainstream disaster risk management in development planning and increase capacity of the implementing agencies to fast-track implementation, procurement and safeguards.
ADB’s assistance complements rehabilitation efforts by other development partners. It also allows the Government of Pakistan to redirect its finances to priority social sector interventions for vulnerable groups in affected areas.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including co-financing of $9.2 billion.