ISLAMABAD: The government has asked the World Bank to finalize a restructuring plan for a $ 200 million loan that was approved last year for the Locust and Food Security Emergency Project.
The project is being restructured as locust spread has been successfully contained thanks to measures taken by the government with foreign assistance.
Economy Minister Omer Ayub Khan chaired a meeting on Saturday to consider restructuring the project and asked the World Bank to complete the work with a long-term approach as food security is essential for any country.
The aim of the project is to support emergency action to combat the outbreak of locust and prevent its spread in Pakistan. This will improve early warning systems by strengthening the food security and nutrition information system, which is an important decision-making tool for preventing pest outbreaks and improving national food security.
At the meeting, food security is discussed, a restructuring plan is being considered.
Rashid Langrial, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, briefed the meeting on the status of the restructuring and said that the ministry has completed consultations with all stakeholders, including the plant protection department, and the restructuring plan will be completed shortly.
Meanwhile, the World Bank’s South Asia Strategy and Operations Director, Illango Patchamutu, met with Minister Omer Ayub and thanked him for his support in evacuating bank employees and their families from Kabul and allowing temporary relocation despite the difficult situation in Afghanistan. …
During the meeting, Mr. Ayub expressed his gratitude to the World Bank for its continued support for Pakistan’s socio-economic development and key reform initiatives undertaken by the government.
Mr Patchamutu said the World Bank is committed to providing all possible technical and financial support in key priority areas of the Government of Pakistan. The World Bank will also continue its regional connectivity and trade initiatives, he said.
World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan Melinda Goode also thanked Pakistan for providing PIA aircraft, visa on arrival and hospitality for bank staff.
Published in: Dawn, 29 August 2021