World Bank stresses transparency, accountability in Pak flood aid utilisation

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Islamabad, Sept 10 (ANI): The World Bank's Vice President for South Asia, Isabel Guerrero, has stressed on the importance of transparency and accountability in aid utilisation by Pakistan in reassuring donors that aid would not be embezzled.

"Central coordination and local implementation should be key features of whatever institutional framework is established to manage the reconstruction programme.... In areas such as cash transfers, asset compensation, housing entitlements, and land reclamation, citizens should expect transparent and uniform standards to ensure equality and reduce discretion in the implementation of policies," the Daily Times quoted Guerrero, as saying.

She said that the World Bank was willing to help Pakistan in setting up instruments to track aid flows, establish sound procurement practices, grievance mechanisms, and robust monitoring and evaluation systems.

Guerrero met President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and other key officials during her three-day visit to the flood-ravaged country, to update them on the survey being jointly conducted by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to determine damage and reconstruction requirements.

She declared that the bank would continue to support the government's efforts to improve domestic revenue mobilisation and re-prioritise existing public investment programmes to take account of the floods, apart from making $1 billion available for flood related reconstruction and urging the international community to donate towards the flood victims in Pakistan.

She also said that moving ahead with tax and energy reforms was important not only for growth, but also "because it shows the commitment of the government to do its part to address challenges."

Guerrero met President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and other key officials during her three-day visit to Pakistan, to update them on the progress made on 'damage and needs assessment' survey, which is being jointly conducted by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to determine the extent of damage and reconstruction needs in the flood-ravaged country. (ANI)

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