World Bank Explains Delay in Releasing $1.1 Billion Loan For Pakistan

World Bank (WB) says media reports claiming that it has delayed the release of loans to the tune of $1.1 billion to Pakistan are false.

WB Country Director for Pakistan Najy Benhassine tweeted, “The press reports that refer to a World Bank decision to delay approval of potential Bank operations in Pakistan are unfounded. The tentative Board approval dates of all of our proposed operations, as well as their amounts, are indicative”.

He further stated, “The World Bank decides on the timing for sharing project proposals for Board consideration following due process and based on the proposed projects’ readiness”.

While no longer the subject of indefinite delays, the loans in question include the second Resilient Institutions for Sustainable Economy (RISE-II) loan worth $450 million and the second Program for Affordable Energy (PACE-II) loan worth $600 million.

The government is hoping to receive approval for at least the $450 million loan in January, which would also unlock a further $450 million from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) which had tied its release of funds to the World Bank’s RISE-II.

For those who do not know, these loans are a part of the coalition government’s plan to raise somewhere in the unrealistic region of $30-32 billion in external financing during the current fiscal year.