World Bank to Help Pakistan Assess Damage From Floods

The World Bank said it will be leading Pakistan’s development partners in undertaking a damage assessment of the country’s most destructive flood before mapping out the reconstruction needs from the disaster.

The extent of the flood damage and its impact on Pakistan’s economy can’t be estimated until the assessment is done, Shahzad Sharjeel, senior external affairs officer for the World Bank in Islamabad, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg News.

The Washington-based lender said it has made available a $1.3 million grant to Pakistan for rescue, relief and recovery operations. The flood is Pakistan’s “worst natural disaster” since the country’s creation in 1947 and has set back the nation’s development by many years, according to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

“The World Bank is working closely with the government of Pakistan and other development partners to respond to the flooding,” Sharjeel said. “The bank’s support is focused on medium- to long-term reconstruction, but we are working closely with those providing humanitarian disaster relief.”

The floods first struck the western province of Baluchistan on July 22 before inundating the worst-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Punjab and Sindh, the country’s most populous provinces and its biggest agricultural zone, were the next hit.

(Corrects to say the World Bank will help assess damage in headline and first paragraph of story published Aug. 11.)
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