'Pakistan to receive flood recovery funds from next month'

Pakistan will start receiving from next month funds pledged by international donors to help the country recover from ruinous floods, a top official of the planning ministry said on Friday.

Officials from some 40 countries as well as private donors and international financial institutions committed over $9 billion for Pakistan’s flood recovery program at a meeting in Geneva earlier this week, as Islamabad sought funds to cover around half of a recovery bill amounting to $16.3 billion.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Federal Secretary for Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Syed Zafar Ali Shah said that the funds would start flowing in from next month.

He said that funds would be received from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and other lenders through bilateral agreements. He said that a unit was being created at the planning ministry to oversee the multilateral and bilateral agreements, Express News reported.

He said that the federal government would form a technical committee to oversee the spending of the flood recovery funds.

Also read: 90% Geneva pledges are loans, not aid

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had clarified earlier this week that almost 90% of the pledges made by the international community at the Geneva conference were project loans that would be disbursed over the next three years.

The project loans include $4.2 billion commitment from the Islamic Development Bank, $500 million by the Asian Development Bank, $1 billion by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and $2 billion by the World Bank.

Speaking to reporters today, federal secretary Zafar Shah said that the World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank were giving project loans for the flood recovery program for a period of 40 years, and that the interest rate for repayment of such loans was only one per cent.

He said that no terms and conditions had yet been finalized with the Asian Development Bank.

Shah further said that the government was also in talks with the International Monetary Fund for the 9th review of the $6.5 billion bailout package from the global lender.

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