ISLAMABAD: With divergent financing priorities, Pakistan has asked the World Bank to focus its next five-year funding under Country Partnership Framework (CPF) on basic areas where the country lagged like human capital, poverty alleviation, stunting, revenue mobilisation and economic reforms.
This was conveyed to a World Bank team led by Country Director Najy Benhassine on Monday by Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar as part of consultations on the CPF 2022-26.
During the meeting, Mr Benhassine shared the strategic direction of the World Bank’s next CPF saying it would broadly focus on four strategic areas — education, health, environment and growth — and an improved governance as an enabler.
The meeting was aimed to discuss the government’s development priorities for the next five years and to seek guidance and views to appropriately accommodate those priorities in the next CPF. The bank is also engaging with the private sector, academia and other stakeholders as part of consultative process before finalisation of the financing plan.
Mr Benhassine explained that the process for preparing a new CPF for Pakistan has been initiated that would outline its strategic support in the country for the next five years. He said the WB had started countrywide consultations with key stakeholders, including government, parliamentarians, private sector, civil society organisations and development partners to gather diverse views from stakeholders on Pakistan’s economic and social challenges and the ways in which the WB can support the government in addressing these challenges.
Mr Khusro told the WB team that Pakistan “needs to focus more on the basics where the country critically lags eg human capital, poverty alleviation, stunting, revenue mobilisation and economic reforms etc.” He advised the delegation for “avoiding thin spreading of resources and focus concentrating resources on priority areas for achieving greater impact”.
He said the government also desired to enhance the role of private sector. He said the government would encourage the private sector to take lead in economic development, according to an official statement.
The CPF will draw from its flagship Pakistan@100: Shaping the Future initiative it launched in 2013 that seeks to identify main changes necessary for Pakistan to become an upper middle-income country by the time it turns 100 years old in 2047.
The meeting was also attended by Secretary Ministry of Economic Affairs, Operations Officers of World Bank and International Finance Corporation.
Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2021