WASHINGTON: The World Bank will continue to support Pakistan’s poverty reduction and development agenda with an expected assistance of up to $5.5 billion over the FY 12-14, according to the World Bank’s Country Partnership Strategy Progress Report (CPSPR).

The progress report, released here late Thursday afternoon, is a mid-term review and implementation assessment of the Pakistan CPS, which was discussed by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on July 8, 2010.

The report assesses changes in the program since the CPS Board discussion and proposes adjustments for the remaining implementation period. In consultation with the Government of Pakistan, the original CPS period has been extended by one year to include FY14.

The Bank has responded flexibly in the face of the tremendous challenges Pakistan has gone through over the past year or so. “I am pleased that we have been able to support the emergency response to floods, launch a Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) for the crises-hit areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA and Balochistan, and deepen engagement with the provinces,” said Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.

“Going forward, we will continue our strong support to Pakistan, while keeping a keen eye on implementation to ensure that these efforts translate into real results on the ground.”

The progress report says the overall focus of the Bank’s strategy – to help Pakistan’s economy get back onto a path of high, sustained growth – remains valid and consistent with the overall priorities of the Government of Pakistan as articulated in its New Framework for Growth Strategy.

Also, the Bank support will remain centred on the original pillars of the CPS — economic governance; human development and social protection; infrastructure; and security and conflict risk reduction. The Bank Group engagement over FY12-14 is projected at up to $4.0 billion in new International Development Association (IDA) credits and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loans. This will be supplemented by a robust program under the MDTF with initial commitments of US$140 million and International Finance Corporation (IFC) support projected at US$1.5 billion.

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