World Bank appoints director for Pakistan

Updated 04 Aug 2020

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Najy Benhassine most recently served as regional director for equitable growth, finance and institutions in the Middle East and North Africa. — Photo courtesy Maghreb Emergent
Najy Benhassine most recently served as regional director for equitable growth, finance and institutions in the Middle East and North Africa. — Photo courtesy Maghreb Emergent

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank (WB) on Monday announced appo­inted Najy Benhassine as new country director for Pakistan.

Mr. Najy Benhassine is the World Bank’s new country director for Pakistan effective Aug 1, said WB press statement. He succeeds Illango Patchamuthu, who completed his term on July 31.

Benhassine most recently served as regional director for equitable growth, finance and institutions in the Middle East and North Africa.

Prior to this, he served as director for finance, competitiveness and innovation global practice, the statement said adding that since joining the World Bank in 2001, he has worked extensively on economic development, finance, private sector development and impact evaluations.

Benhassines appointment comes at a time when the government is confronting both the immediate and longer-term health and economic impacts of the Covid-19 crisis.

It is critical that we help protect the lives and livelihoods of the people of the country and support economic recovery in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, said Benhassine.

My first priority is to ensure that the World Bank support helps to not only alleviate the immediate health and economic impacts of the crisis but at the same time support the government’s ambitious, social and economic reform program to promote a more resilient and inclusive economy so that Pakistan can build back better, he added.

The World Bank portfolio in Pakistan includes 56 active projects amounting to approximately $11 billion.

The portfolio supports reforms and investments to strengthen institutions, particularly in fiscal management and human development; multi-sectoral initiatives in children’s nutrition, education and skills, irrigated agriculture, tourism, disaster risk management, and urban development; and clean energy, and social and financial inclusion.

Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2020