ADB to five US$2billion for rehabilitation of flood hit people
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Thursday announced that it would extend $2 billion to Pakistan to help with the rehabilitation and reconstruction work resulting from the devastating floods.
These floods have affected 20 million people and shattered the country’s physical infrastructure, including roads, bridges, power lines, housing, schools, medical facilities, irrigation installations and farm structures.
The finance was announced by ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Department Juan Miranda, who arrived in Islamabad Thursday to discuss the ADB rehabilitation and reconstruction plan with senior government officials and other donors.
“The extent of human suffering caused by the floods cannot be easily quantified, nor can the damage wrought upon the country’s physical and social infrastructure,” Mr. Miranda said. “But what is clear is that this disaster is like no other in living memory – and that our response must also be unprecedented, equal to the need, and fast.”
Mr. Miranda stressed that the donor community is first and rightly helping out with humanitarian relief, but that long-term reconstruction work is going to be essential.
“We need to put back hope and dignity into people’s lives, and do so quickly. Pakistan needs this and counts on us. This is not the time to let them down. This must be our finest hour,” Mr. Miranda said.
The $2 billion will be for emergency rehabilitation and reconstruction work. The funds will be released in accordance with the findings of a Damage and Needs Assessment (DNA) that is being co-led by ADB and the World Bank. The DNA will examine damages in 16 core areas. ADB will take the lead in eight, including transport and communication, energy, health, water and sanitation, irrigation, social protection and public administration services. ADB has already assembled a team of more than 100 experts to prepare the DNA.
The magnitude of the damage is high and reconstruction will be an expensive undertaking. It is on this account that ADB is setting up a special flood reconstruction fund to raise money from donors wishing to help with rehabilitation and reconstruction work. This fund will provide a vehicle for donors to pool their contributions. ADB will administer this money and put in place the appropriate fiduciary oversight systems and procedures.
“We will ensure that money from donors is used in the right way, at the right time, and in a totally transparent manner,” Mr. Miranda said.
ADB has also approved $3 million from its Asia-Pacific Disaster Response Fund for immediate emergency assistance.
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 2009, it approved a total of $16.1 billion in financing operations through loans, grants, guarantees, a trade finance facilitation program, equity investments, and technical assistance projects. ADB also mobilized cofinancing amounting to $3.2 billion.-INFN