Asian Development Bank Country Head Werner Liepach on Wednesday said that ADB has decided to release $225million for the Flood affectees and Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) by the end of the next month (May).

“The Asian Development Bank is happy to share with the government that as far as the assistance programme for the welfare of TDPs and flood affectees was concerned, everything was on track and ADB was satisfied over co-operation being extended by the Government agencies in terms of damage estimates and relief efforts”, said Werner Liepach during a meeting with the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. Liepach expressed sorrow and grief over the loss of lives and property due to rainstorm in Peshawar. The Minister said that undoubtedly it was a very sad happening and the Government fully shared the grief of the affected people. Liepach also informed the Minister that as economic rating of Pakistan by international agencies was getting better; ADB was identifying additional options to help Pakistan in achieving development targets.

Finance Minister said that it was the priority of the government to create a Disaster Risk Fund on permanent basis to cater for any future natural calamities. He said that the Government was thinking of introducing schemes for providing crop insurance facilities to the farmers funded by the micro-credit schemes to protect the farmers affected by natural disasters and help them recoup. The Finance Minister said that if ADB wanted to give suggestions for help to farmers or introduce any schemes in this regard and also to help farmers in protecting their livestock and crops by providing insurance cover, these could be registered now for being incorporated in the coming budget. Liepach said that he would like to give a detailed presentation to the Minister on different schemes ADB had in mind that could help Pakistan in its development and uplift.  He added that ADB was also on track on Jamshoro coal fired energy project and the allocated funds for the project would be timely released.

 He said that ADB was interested in helping Pakistan in energy sector projects and the plan to get extra allocations approved for the energy sector was the priority of the ADB team. The Finance Minister also discussed with Liepach the upcoming visit of the vice president of ADB.  The meeting was also attended by the senior officials of the Ministry of Finance.