ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Saturday appreciated World Bank for providing loans for Covid-19 and locust emergency control project. Federal Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar met Najy Benhassine, County Director of World Bank in Pakistan, in his office at Ministry of Economic Affairs. Both sides discussed the priority areas of engagement to strengthen the WB’s portfolio in Pakistan. The minister thanked and appreciated the World Bank for extending USD 200 million package to help Pakistan take effective and timely action to respond to the pandemic. He also appreciated the support of World Bank for locust emergency control project worth of USD 200 million to mitigate the adverse impact of parasite attack on food basket of the country. The minister apprised him of approval of economic reforms proposed by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to reform and simply the execution of development projects. He also shared the Prime Minister’s direction to expedite the economic reforms in coordination with global donors. He said that the process would enable the government to complete three DPCs with WB (SHIFT, RISE and PACE) in due course of time. Bakhtyar urged the Country Director to expand the priority areas of cooperation with Pakistan in field of energy, tourism, low-cost housing scheme and availability of COVID vaccine. Mr Najy, Country Director, thanked the minister for WB portfolio review exercise. He also appreciated government’s resolve to expedite the implementation of WB-funded projects.