ISLAMABAD -  The government has established National Disaster Risk Management Fund with the loan of $200 million from Asian Development Bank (ADB) and AUD 4.5 million from Australia.

Ishaq Dar, Minister for Finance, witnessed the signing ceremony between the Government of Pakistan and Asian Development Bank (ADB) for Loan Agreement of US$ 200 million and Grant Agreement of Australian Dollar 4.5 million for National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF).

NDRMF is being established as a public limited company under Section 42 of the Companies Ordinance 2016 for sustainable mechanism and permanent instrument to enhance Pakistan’s resilience to any future disaster.

The focus of the Fund is on: (i) disaster risk reduction; (ii) design, development and seeding of disaster risk financing strategies and instruments; and (iii) partnerships with other organisations to provide relief and recovery support, including livelihood restoration initiatives, and reconstruction and rehabilitation of key public infrastructure. The eventual total outlay of the Fund would be is USD 3 billion of which ADB will provide USD 1 billion in five tranches.

Out of ADB’s total commitment, a loan of USD 200 million has been signed on Friday.

The Government of Australia is also providing co-financing grant for this Fund. Apart from ADB and Australia, other donors such as Norway, Belgium and Switzerland have also shown their interest to contribute in the Fund.

Speaking on the occasion, the Finance Minister thanked ADB and the Government of Australia for providing support and enabling Government of Pakistan to establish a common window to pool financial resources.

This mechanism will serve for alignment of donors commitments and GOP financing for disaster management efforts, if God forbid a disaster does take place, he added.

The Minister also said that the participation of our development partners in this noble cause will also inspire organisations around the world to take similar initiatives.

He also said that this initiative will strengthen Pakistan’s disaster preparedness efforts.

The Country Director Asian Development Bank stated that this is a trend-setting initiative which would not only mitigate the effects of disaster but would also help cushion the fiscal shock of the catastrophe.

The loan agreement was signed by Tariq Bajwa, Secretary, Economic Affairs Division and Werner E. Liepach, Country Director, Asian Development Bank.

The High Commissioner of Australia and the representatives of Norway, Japan, Switzerland and European Union were also present on this occasion.