ISLAMABAD Besides discussing a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Pakistan, the World Bank also endorsed a proposed lending programme worth $6.2 billion to address energy, revenue and security constraints of Pakistan for the next four fiscal years 2010-13. According to the statement issued here on Friday, The goal of the CPS, which is in direct support of Pakistans own Poverty Reduction Strategy, is to help steer its economy back onto a path of high growth by addressing the countrys key long-term constraints to growth: weak revenue mobilisation, unreliable energy supply, and a fragile security situation. The Bank will also continue its strong support to improve education and health systems, strengthen the potential for increased and more productive labour force participation, reinforce safety net systems, and enhance the earning capacity of the poor and vulnerable. According to Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan, Throughout its history Pakistan has been plagued by cycles of high growth interrupted by shocks and crises. This strategy recognises that a prolonged period of macroeconomic stability, financial discipline and sound policies is required to steer Pakistan back on a path of broad-based growth, create jobs, and reduce poverty. The World Bank Group will, therefore, focus on the achievement of those outcomes that have the potential to be truly transformational. This means successfully addressing tax policy and administration and expanding power provisions. Further, the Bank will intensify its support to address chronic under funding of key services, reduce reliance on foreign aid and avoid episodic crises, tax revenue needs to be substantially increased and raising the ratio of tax to GDP, currently only 10.2 percent of GDP is essential to mobilise resources to invest in human development and infrastructure, build resilience to future shocks, and guard against costly and disruptive growth reversals. In addition, a new series of Poverty Reduction Support Credits (PRSC) is proposed to be the Banks primary lending instrument to support strengthening of macroeconomic management at the federal level. The energy sector faces many challenges including significant supply shortages and financial uncertainty. The Bank will concentrate its support on helping Pakistan exploit its considerable hydr-opower potential, improve the efficiency of utilisation of developed hydropower capacity and natural gas resources, and reduce energy losses. The persistence of conflict in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) poses a threat to some of the most vulnerable and marginalized populations in Pakistan, while also challenging economic stability across the country. The CPS seeks to help Pakistan cope with the consequences of conflict while reducing the prospects of future conflicts. Support under the Banks strategy will likely include investment for agricultural/livestock-linked employment and livelihoods, expansion of general and technical/vocational education, investment in energy and transport, and social protection. The Bank will also administer a Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) that will support a comprehensive reconstruction and development strategy in conflict-affected areas of the country. In education, the Bank will support government programmes that combine supply side interventions (constructing and upgrading facilities, need-driven and merit-based teacher recruitment) and demand-side measures (free textbooks, female stipends, subsidies to low fee private schools) to improve access to education with a focus on equity to address regional and gender imbalances. In social protection, the Bank will sustain its partnership with the Government in establishing the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) as the countrys national safety net programme with a focus on increasing its targeting efficiency and strengthening its operation. In the health sector, the Bank will focus on addressing chronic nutritional deficiencies amongst mothers and children, as well as continuing its support to polio eradication and HIV-AIDS prevention. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Bank Groups private sector arm, intends to invest up to US $1.5 billion during the same period. According to Dimitris Tsitsiragos, Regional Director for IFC, Pakistan has a dynamic private sector whose growth is still hampered by constraints in infrastructure support. IFC will continue to increase investing in viable private sector projects in financial markets, infrastructure, health and education and agribusiness.