Donors offer $270m for poverty alleviation
ISLAMABAD – Three major international donor agencies, mainly the World Bank, have offered $270 million new funding to Pakistan, on December 11, to alleviate poverty under public-private partnership programme.
Informed sources told Dawn that the World Bank has provided $238 million, out of $270 million new assistance. The other assistance included $24 million by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and $8 million by the USAID.
The overall new funding by three international donors is expected to reach $300 million during the current financial year. The World Bank had earlier extended $100 million assistance for poverty alleviation for various vulnerable groups including women.
The new assistance has been extended to Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) which represents an innovative model of public-private partnership, sponsored by the government of Pakistan.
The PPAF has been incorporated as private company limited by guarantee, under the regulatory supervision of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).
Sources said that the international donor agencies felt more comfortable with the PPAF as far as prudent spending was concerned.
When contacted Chief Executive of PPAF Kamal Hyat confirmed that the World Bank, which had earlier disbursed $100 million, has now provided $238 million new assistance beside $24 million and $8 million assistance extended by the USDA and USAID respectively.
He said a soft loan of Rs6 billion has been given to the country’s 47 non-governmental organizations for onward loaning to deserving people with a view to remove poverty. The amount of Rs6 billion he said, has been provided during the last five years to 6 million people.
Responding to a question, he said that for the first time new loaning will be made available for education and health sectors by the PPAF.
“The PPAF hopes to play a major role in fulfilling the challenging Micro-credit Summit goal of reaching 100 million of the world’s poor by the year 2005”, he said.