ISLAMABAD, 01 July: The World Bank has approved $800 million in financing for two programs in Pakistan — the Pakistan Program for Affordable and Clean Energy and the Second Securing Human Investments to Foster Transformation.
Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Noor Ahmed, and Melinda Good, Acting Country Director, World Bank signed the two important program loan agreements worth $800 million on behalf of their respective sides.
The World Bank will provide US$ 800 million for key policy reforms in priority areas as under:
Second Securing Human Investments to Foster Transformation–Development Policy Financing (SHIFT-II) Program worth US$400 million.
The development objectives of this Bank-funded program is to (i) strengthen Civil Registration and Vital Statistics, health and education systems essential for Human Capital (HC) accumulation; (ii) recognize the contribution of women to economic productivity (iii) improve national safety nets to respond to shocks in a more efficient manner.
Program for Affordable and Clean Energy – Development Policy Financing (PACE-DPF) Program worth US$ 400 million.
The development objective of this program is to reduce circular debt flow by reducing power generation costs, de-carbonizing the energy mix, improving efficiency in distribution and retargeting electricity subsidies.
Upon signing of the agreements, World Bank will disburse US$ 400 million immediately while disbursement of another US$ 400 million will follow in the coming days.
This financial support of US$800 million under the said two programs will also help in improving the balance of payment, strengthening foreign exchange reserves, according to a press statement.
The economic affairs secretary thanked and appreciated the World Bank for extending timely support to the government at this difficult time when the country is facing increasing health-related and socioeconomic challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ms. Melinda Acting Country Director, World Bank appreciated the reforms undertaken by the Government of Pakistan in the areas of Energy Sector and Human Capital Development in difficult times.
She reiterated the commitment of the World Bank to continue to work together with the Government of Pakistan in the critical areas of the economy.