ADB loans 2 billion US dollars to flood-ravaged Pakistan

08:31, August 20, 2010      

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced Thursday that it would loan two billion US dollars to Pakistan to help with the rehabilitation and reconstruction work resulting from the devastating floods.

The loan was announced by ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Department Juan Miranda, who arrived in Islamabad Thursday to discuss the ADB rehabilitation and reconstruction plan with senior government officials and other donors.

"The extent of human suffering caused by the floods cannot be easily quantified, nor can the damage wrought upon the country's physical and social infrastructure," said Miranda. "This disaster is like no other in living memory and our response must also be unprecedented, equal to the need, and fast."

Miranda stressed that the donor community is first and rightly helping out with humanitarian relief, but the long-term reconstruction work is going to be essential.

"We need to put back hope and dignity into people's lives, and do so quickly. Pakistan needs this and counts on us. This is not the time to let them down," he said.

According to Miranda, the two billion US dollars will be for emergency rehabilitation and reconstruction work. The funds will be released in accordance with the findings of a Damage and Needs Assessment (DNA) that is being co-led by ADB and the World Bank.

The DNA will examine damages in 16 core areas. ADB will take the lead in eight, including transport and communication, energy, health, water and sanitation, irrigation, social protection and public administration services. ADB has already assembled a team of more than 100 experts to prepare the DNA.

The magnitude of the damage is high and reconstruction will be an expensive undertaking. It is on this account that ADB is setting up a special flood reconstruction fund to raise money from donors wishing to help with rehabilitation and reconstruction work. This fund will provide a vehicle for donors to pool their contributions.

"We will ensure that money from donors is used in the right way, at the right time, and in a totally transparent manner," said Miranda.

Source: Xinhua


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