ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Pakistan on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the establishment of the Pakistan National Disaster Management Fund to strengthen the country’s disaster resilience, emergency response, and reconstruction capacity.
Tariq Bajwa, Secretary Economic Affairs Division, and Werner E. Liepach, ADB’s Country Director for Pakistan, signed the letter of exchange for the establishment of the fund which will support disaster risk reduction efforts, enhanced fiscal resilience in case of disasters, and provide for priority relief, recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction needs, says a press release.
Pakistan’s Finance Minister and ADB Governor Mohammad Ishaq Dar witnessed the signing. Pakistan is vulnerable to natural hazards including droughts, earthquakes, floods and cyclones.
More than 30 million people were affected by the three major floods events in 2010, 2011 and 2014 that resulted in damage and losses amounting to $14.1 billion, and in 2005 a major earthquake caused more than 73,000 deaths and $5 billion in losses.
The country also experienced a major cyclone in 2007 and drought in 2015 that collectively affected a million people. About two-fifths of the country is classified as semi-arid to arid, with many susceptible parts now frequently experiencing drought conditions.
“The fund will institute a new and robust approach in mobilizing financial resources to respond to the residual impacts of natural disasters.
It will serve as an effective government-owned mechanism to support disaster risk financing and financing that can enhance Pakistan’s resilience to future disaster events,” said Mr. Liepach.
The fund will allow rapid deployment of assistance on a needs basis to implement the under-resourced National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP), and will present a common window to pool various contributions from a diverse base of contributors, serving as a vehicle for donor alignment and coordination by the government.