Donor Conference to help flood victims of Pakistan

Sever flood-hit Pakistan last year due to climate change and caused heavy damage. The magnitude of the flood and damages were beyond the capacity of Pakistan. So, an appeal was made to the international community for extending helping hands to rescue human lives and rehabilitation of flood victims. In this regard, a donor Conference was held on 09 January 2023 in Geneva. It was Co-hosted by the Government of Pakistan and the United Nations, the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan, in the backdrop of the devastating floods in 2022.

The conference brought together the international community to reaffirm solidarity with Pakistan, review the recovery needs of the affected population, and identify the support required to reconstruct and rehabilitate the damaged infrastructure in a resilient manner.

Since June 2022, a combination of heavy rains and riverine, urban, and flash flooding has led to an unprecedented natural disaster in Pakistan. Floods have affected 33 million people, with more than 1,730 lives lost as well as 2 million housing units impacted, and several thousands of schools and hospitals damaged or destroyed. Estimates suggest that the national poverty rate may increase, pushing an additional 9.1 million people below the poverty line. Existing health and food insecurities are exacerbated by the disaster, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable.

The Government of Pakistan led a Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), which was prepared with the support of a Core Group of partners comprising the Asian Development Bank, the European Union, United Nations Agencies, and the World Bank Group. The PDNA estimates recovery needs at over USD 16 billion.  Housing, agriculture, and livestock, as well as transport and communication sectors, were most impacted. Sindh was the province worst affected by the disaster, followed by Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Punjab.

Based on the PDNA, the Core Group has supported the Government of Pakistan in developing a Resilient Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Framework (4RF). The 4RF provides an overarching framework for planning, financing, implementing, and monitoring Pakistan’s resilient recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction efforts.

The conference provided an opportunity to present the 4RF, secure international support, and forge long-term partnerships for building Pakistan’s climate resilience and adaptation.

Announcements

During the conference, delegations recalled their assistance to the immediate relief efforts and affirmed their support to the people of Pakistan for a resilient recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction. Delegations expressed their solidarity and announced commitments of financial support to the realization of the objectives and priority areas outlined in the 4RF, as well as to ongoing humanitarian efforts. Taken as a whole these commitments totaled more than USD 9 billion, from both bilateral and multilateral partners. Further announcements for in-kind support were made by a number of delegations.

Action Plan

The conference marked the beginning of a structured process of support for Pakistan’s recovery, aligning humanitarian relief, and early recovery with broader long-term sustainable development in a resilient manner.

The conference identified the principles/action plan for Pakistan’s resilient recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.

The structured process of support for Pakistan’s resilient recovery will be based on the following elements:-

a. Developing and agreeing on detailed plans for specific recovery interventions. Based on the PDNA, and following priorities and implementation arrangements outlined in the Resilient Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Framework (4RF), concrete recovery interventions will be designed and finalized. This will include interventions across the four strategic recovery objectives: SRO1: Enhance governance and the capacities of the state institutions to restore lives and livelihoods of the affected people, especially the most vulnerable; SRO2: Restore livelihoods and economic opportunities; SRO3: Ensure social inclusion and participation; SRO4: Restore and improve basic services and physical infrastructure in a resilient and sustainable manner.

b. Working from the immediate to long-term. The recovery process will range from immediate to long-term recovery needs. As the country transitions into long-term reconstruction, priorities should include financing the most immediate and time-critical components of the 4RF, including urgent social expenditures aimed at preventing health crises, mitigating the impact of winter as well as the rains in the next monsoon season, and restoring livelihoods.

c. Long-term Resilience Framework. Beyond the recovery needs identified by the PDNA and 4RF, a long-term Resilience Framework is needed, which will guide building resilience and Pakistan’s capacity to withstand future shocks.

d. Promoting inclusiveness. The recovery process is rooted in an inclusive whole-of-Pakistan approach, recognizing the role of national and provincial stakeholders, and supporting all segments of the society.

e. Developing a financing strategy. A credible and detailed financing plan, which includes fostering public-private partnerships will be developed.

f. Project Preparation. A Facility will be established, or the UNDP-supported Project Preparation Facility already established within Pakistan’s Ministry of Finance will be reinforced, with a dedicated fund to finance the professional development by qualified consultants of viable projects, selected from the 4RF framework, for official, private and public-private financing and/or investment.

g. Monitoring and Evaluation. Effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms will be put in place to ensure transparency in funding allocation and spending combined with public communications on recovery progress.

h. Establishing an International Partners Support Group. An “International Partners’ Support Group to Pakistan’s Resilient Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction” will be established under the leadership of the Government. The Group will assist Pakistan to develop concrete plans and projects and help secure financial and other commitments of support for the implementation of these plans and projects over the coming years.

i. Other Support. Pakistan welcomes any other support from other partners based on their existing international aid/support frameworks or other arrangements or protocols.

Pakistan is an active member of the international community and was proactive in international affairs. It has a tradition of responding to any emergency disaster in any part of the world and always played a leading role in addressing global issues. However, last year’s flood was so hard and intense that Pakistan cannot face it alone and sought assistance from the international community. Hope the pledged assistance will be materialized soon and reconstruction and rehabilitation of flood victims will be executed according to plans. Thanks to all friends of Pakistan, who so ever has helped Pakistan or not. Sometimes moral support is also encouragement.

Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.