After the pledges of $10.92 billion in the recent donor conference for the reconstruction in flood-affected areas, Federal Minister of Planning Development & Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal formally chaired the first Policy & Strategy Committee meeting to implement the Resilient Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Framework (4RF) on Wednesday.
While chairing the meeting, the planning minister said that Pakistan received an unprecedented response from the donor conference which was a great success for the country. He said that the time has now come to implement the decisions of the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan in a letter and spirit without any delay.
The minister asked all the relevant ministries and divisions to make a timeline for the projects so that they can be implemented timely. During the meeting, it was also decided to conduct a third-party evaluation to ensure the transparency of the projects.
During the meeting, the participants of the committee discussed in length the terms of reference (ToRs) of the committee and representatives from across the country gave their recommendations.
Under the ToRs, it will examine and approve 4RF’s policies, plans, strategies, and standards and ensure fast-track approval of projects under 4RF. Similarly, the committee will ensure financial control and recommend timely independent audits of programs and projects by the Auditor General of Pakistan and independent third-party audits.
Furthermore, the committee will undertake a periodical review of procurement procedures and sectoral policies to ensure the timely implementation of 4RF. Besides, it will oversee the functioning of the implementation management committee, and recovery and reconstruction unit (RRU) at the federal and provincial levels. The committee will review the progress every month.
The 4RF would be materialized in three phases including short-term up to one year, medium-term up to three years, and long-term up to five to seven years period. The 4FR document suggested effective coordination and participation arrangement among federal and provincial governments, development partners, donors, international and national NGOs, and academic and private sectors.
Similarly, another Committee Recovery and Reconstruction Unit (RRU) was also established on post-flood reconstruction projects envisaged in the 4RF. Chief Economist, Planning Commission is the Chairman of the committee. The objective of the committee is to coordinate the work of line ministries / provincial governments, provide periodic progress reports to the Policy & Strategy Committee, and ensure enforcement of minimum standards for rehabilitation and reconstruction.
In October last year, the Post-Damage Needs Assessment (PDNA) — conducted jointly by the government of Pakistan and its international development partners, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Union, and UN relief agencies, had estimated the aggregate cost of the calamity at $30.1 billion.
The meeting was attended by the State Minister for Finance Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman, Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah, and representatives from Punjab, KP, AJK, and GB were also present in the meeting.