World Bank links Pak flood aid to responsible and transparent end use

New York, Sep 20(ANI): The World Bank and the United States have urged Pakistan to take steps to reassure donor countries that it is capable of using their flood aid responsibly and transparently.

The call comes after the United Nations asked member states for two billion dollars to help Pakistan recover from the massive floods.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said that Pakistan would have to prove its ability to manage foreign aid ahead of October's meeting in Brussels to review a flood damage assessment report being prepared by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

"To make most effective use of help and even to secure full donor support, the government will need a reconstruction founded on transparency, accountability, flexibility, backed by law," The Dawn quoted Zoellick, as having told a high-level UN meeting.

"Senior Pakistani officials have told us that this is what they wish to do. Yet experience from many countries warns that the machinery tends to slide back to business as usual," he added.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed Zoellick, saying that Pakistan must "lead by instituting the reforms that will pave the way to self-sufficiency".

"The international community will support Pakistan's efforts at reform and reconstruction," Clinton added.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi responded by saying that every dollar it receives "will be utilized in the most efficient manner ... and in the most transparent manner."

It is estimated that the floods, triggered by torrential monsoon downpours in July, have affected up to 20 million people, while over 750,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed.

The floods first struck the western province of Baluchistan on July 22 before inundating the worst-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and then entering Punjab and Sindh. (ANI)

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