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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Multi-donor trust fund for Pak flood affectees

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank launched on Thursday a Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) to support critical reconstruction and peace-building initiatives in crisis affected areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan.The Fund has been created at the request of the Government of Pakistan and will be administered by the World Bank. Nine donors have so far expressed interest in pooling their resources into this Fund, a WB press release said today. “More than the financial contribution of the Fund, I see this as an instrument to ensure greater coherence among the development partners on a shared agenda of the government, and as a precedent for other such operations”, said Hina Rabbani Khar, State Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs in a statement. The recent events in KP and FATA areas have imposed an immense cost on the local economy as large numbers of people were forced to leave their homes and livelihoods, while considerable damage has been caused to physical and social infrastructure.Australia, UK and USA have already signed Administrative Agreements to join the Fund with a combined commitment of around US $80 million. As other interested donors join, the size of the Fund is expected to rise to US $130 million in the initial phase.The other intending donors are Denmark, European Union, Finland, Germany, Italy and Turkey. “The World Bank is helping various countries in dealing with the consequences of crisis and we hope to employ our global knowledge in support of reconstruction and development initiatives for the betterment of crisis affected populations in Pakistan”, said Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan. Projects funded from the MDTF will be informed by the Damage and Needs Assessment (DNA), the development plans of the federal and provincial governments, and the soon to be completed Post Crisis Needs Assessment (PCNA).

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