K-P, donors review flood response plan

Govt aims to rehabilitate, safeguard flood victims


Our Correspondent December 09, 2022

PESHAWAR:

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) department of planning and development held a consultative session with development partners in Islamabad regarding the K-P flood response plan 2022, designed with support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Merged Areas Governance Project (MAGP).

The plan – the first of its kind in the country – has been designed in the aftermath of the recent floods that have left more than 674,000 people internally displaced and destroyed the homes of more than 91,000 families.

Through this plan, the K-P government aims to rehabilitate flood survivors and safeguard them against further vulnerability to climate change by introducing climate resilience and advanced risk governance in the province.

“The world is entering uncharted waters with climate change. Unfortunately, we are at the frontlines despite having a little contribution to the crisis,” said K-P Minister for Finance and Health Taimur Jhagra in his opening remarks.

UNDP Pakistan Resident Representative Knut Ostby termed the consultative session a milestone for the K-P government in overcoming challenges worsened by the recent flood devastation.

“This flood recovery plan shows three systemic innovations will be required in K-P and elsewhere to improve resilience: resilient infrastructure; institutions that effectively govern climate risk; and district-level preparedness and responsiveness,” he said, urging partners to support the K-P government with the mammoth task ahead.

At the event, Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Shahab Ali Shah gave a detailed presentation on the flood response plan. He said as per initial estimates, the provincial government requires $189 million to increase governance resiliency against climate risks in addition to $372 million needed for rehabilitation, emphasizing that additional resources would only prove effective if the institutions in place worked well.

The ACS spoke about the climate resilient infrastructure fund (CRIF), which the K-P government wants to establish. It would leverage public and private partnerships for Rs35 billion.

Diplomats from the British High Commission, US Consulate General and Embassy of Sweden, and representatives from the European Union delegation to Pakistan, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), and Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), US State Department Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), and German Development Bank (KfW) were also present.

Secretaries and officials of the KP administrative departments including agriculture, irrigation, environment, health, information, communication and works, elementary and secondary education, provincial disaster management authority, sustainable development unit (SDU), and environmental protection agency (EPA) also attended the event.

Closing the session, Taimur Khan Jhagra appreciated the support of the development partners and stressed that the provincial government would be focused both on the short and long-term aspects.

It will work on the immediate reconstruction and rehabilitation work as well as building a climate-resilient economy to protect people from such disasters.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2022.

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