WB asked to finalise $200m loan restructuring plan

Published August 29, 2021
Minister for Economic Affairs Omer Ayub Khan being briefed during the meeting on Saturday. — APP
Minister for Economic Affairs Omer Ayub Khan being briefed during the meeting on Saturday. — APP

ISLAMABAD: The government has asked the World Bank to finalise the restructuring plan for a loan of $200 million which was approved last year for the locust emergency and food security project.

The project is being restructured since the spread of locust has been successfully controlled due to measures taken by the government with foreign assistance.

Minister for Economic Affairs Omer Ayub Khan presided over a meeting on Saturday to review the restructuring of the project and asked the World Bank to complete the job keeping in view the long-term approach as food security is essential for any country.

The aim of the project is to support emergency actions to control the locust outbreak and prevent its spread across Pakistan. It will improve early warning systems by strengthening the food security and nutrition information system, which is a critical decision-making tool to prevent pest outbreaks and improve national food security.

Meeting discusses food security, reviews restructuring plan

Additional secretary of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research Rashid Langrial informed the meeting of the status of restructuring and said that the ministry had completed consultations with all the stakeholders, including the department of plant protection, and the restructuring plan will be finalised shortly.

Meanwhile, the World Bank Director for Strategy and Operations of South Asia, Illango Patchamuthu, held a meeting with Minister Omer Ayub and thanked him for his support in evacuating the bank’s staff and their families from Kabul and allowing temporary relocation despite a challenging situation in Afghanistan.

During the meeting, Mr Ayub appreciated the World Bank’s continued support for socio-economic development of Pakistan and key reform initiatives taken by the government.

Mr Patchamuthu said that the World Bank was committed to providing all possible technical and financial support for key priority areas of the government of Pakistan. The World Bank would also continue its initiatives for regional connectivity and trade, he said.

The World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan, Melinda Good, also commended Pakistan for providing PIA aircraft, on-arrival visa facility and hospitality to the bank’s staff.

Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2021

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