ISLAMABAD - The international community decided to bear half cost of the rehabilitation of IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) and flood-hit people, as bilateral and multilateral donors made pledges worth $700 million to Pakistan in donors conference on Tuesday.

Pakistan has estimated an amount $1.4 billion on the basis of Recovery Need Assessments (RNA) for the rehabilitation of IDPs and flood-affected people. The bilateral and multilateral donors pledged to give $700 million for the aforesaid cause. The departments have made the pledges including International Development of Britain, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, European Union, Japan, Italy and others.

However, the Finance Ministry did not disclose the break-up of $700 million to be disbursed by donors. The Nation has tried to contact Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar and the Spokesperson Rana Asad Amin to take details of the pledges made by donors, but they were not available.

Pakistan had called the second donors conference, as it in early October held first donors conference to brief the participants about initial losses due to the floods and rehabilitation of IDPs.

According to the press statement issued here, Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar chaired the Development Partners Conference aiming to provide update on the findings of the recently concluded Recovery Need Assessment besides securing support for the IDPs and flood affectees.

DFID, World Bank, ADB, EU, IDB, Japan, Italy and others affirmed support on the basis of the RNA. It may be added that an amount of 1.4 billion dollars was initially estimated under RNA, while so far there is indication for assistance of $700 million.

Presiding over the conference, Ishaq Dar said that the GOP would spearhead the rehabilitation programme and all activities would be undertaken under the mechanisms already established to help people in the calamity-hit areas but efforts would be made to bring visible improvements. He said the estimates regarding damages and rehabilitation costs have not been carried out on mere conjectures; international agencies are also currently involved in Damage Need Assessment (DNA), which will take a couple of months to finalise on a fast track basis.

The minister said the war on terror had taken a heavy toll on Pakistan’s resources and the recurrent floods only added to its economic woes. Islamabad expected the international community to extend a helping hand in this hour of need.

The participants were then given a comprehensive presentation regarding the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb and its financial implications. A short documentary on the operation was also screened.

Later, NDMA chairman Maj. Gen. Saeed Aleem briefed the conference about the damages caused by floods in Punjab, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan.

According to a presentation given by the World Bank, the Multi Donor Trust Fund shall help the IDPs in three phases: Relief that is ongoing, Return management and Recovery within 24 months, Reconstruction that is beyond 18 months. The delivery mechanisms will be cash compensation, livelihood restoration, infrastructure and rehabilitation and analytical and advisory services.

Werner Liepach of ADB in his presentation said that ‘in response to floods 2014 and natural disasters we want to support priority rehabilitation and reconstruction needs and enhance resilience to future disasters.’ The ADB proposed establishment of a Pakistan Fund for Disaster Management with the collaboration of GOP and Donors. The Fund’s scope of work shall be futuristic and will aim at reconstruction of the devastated areas and initiating the livelihood and prevention programmes to help the affected people.

The fund will also provide a common window to pool various resources, facilitate prioritisation of rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts and serve as a vehicle for donor coordination with reduced transaction cost. ADB shall provide loan to finance public infrastructure reconstruction needs of floods. The Finance Minister said this suggestion would be considered in the light of comments and opinion put forth by the development partners.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar at this juncture invited the donors for their comments and opinion on information shared with them regarding the requirement for rehabilitation work. He thanked the donors for their support and emphasised an effective oversight mechanism including donors/development partners ensuring complete transparency and accountability in all rehab activities.

The Finance Minister also appreciated the hard work put in by the officials of the Economic Affairs Division for organising the conference in a befitting manner.