WASHINGTON:Â The World Bank has allocated an unprecedented amount of $1.8 billion for Pakistanâ€™s development projects in the energy and water sectors. Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh made the announcement after holding a meeting with Vice President of the World Bank, Isabel Guerrero, on the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank annual spring gathering of economic leaders from around the world.
The financial institution has also expressed its willingness to assist with financing the multi-year Dasu dam project, to be built in the Kohistan area on the River Indus, with a 1,500MW power generation capacity. They have already approved the power generation enhancement project.
â€œThe World Bank allocating this unprecedented amount in one year is a big sign of confidence in Pakistanâ€™s ability to accomplish development for its people,â€ Dr Shaikh said.
The amount follows last yearâ€™s $1.2 billion in assistance, and will be spent on upgrades and completion of development projects in the energy and water sectors as well as infrastructure, social and reform programs.
â€œThe World Bank vice president was appreciative of Pakistanâ€™s economic performance in these difficult times of global economic and regional challenges,â€ the finance minister added.
Pakistanâ€™s ambassador to the US, Sherry Rehman, also attended the meeting. â€œThis signifies that both the international community and the financial institutions have a growing confidence in Pakistanâ€™s dedication and ability to realise development for its people,â€ said Ambassador Sherry Rehman.
Vice President Guerrero expressed satisfaction with the measures Islamabad has taken to enhance its revenue generation, which has increased by 25% over the last nine months. Other measures include the continuing strong performance of the external sector, both exports and remittances and a healthy 4% GDP growth expected this year.
Dr Shaikh acknowledged the World Bankâ€™s sustained cooperation with Pakistan, calling the financial institution a reliable development partner of Pakistan.