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Dar to seek WB help in energy, infrastructure

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar on Sunday, appreciating World Bank’s Country Partnership Strategy (2015-19), said he would discuss the bank’s assistance for country’s energy and infrastructure projects.
The finance minister said that during his forthcoming visit to Washington DC, he will hold discussions with World Bank officials on assisting Pakistan in its energy and infrastructure related projects. 
The finance minister was speaking at a meeting at Economic Affairs Division (EAD) to discuss Country Partnership Strategy (2015-19) for Pakistan, prepared by World Bank.
He said that tackling the energy crisis with low-cost generation options, like hydro-power and improving access to community-led small-scale off-grid and renewable energy sources for remote areas of Balochistan and FATA, remains on priority.
Dar appreciated that for the first time the country partnership strategy has been developed through a consultative process based on national development agenda and in line with the national interest and priorities.
He expressed satisfaction over the cooperation of the World Bank group and its affiliation.
He hoped that the World Bank will help Pakistan in fostering entrepreneurship and access to finance, increasing economic opportunities and productively engaging youth and women. 
Earlier Secretary EAD, Ms. Nargis Sethi briefed the Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar about Country Partnership Strategy (2015-19) for Pakistan, prepared by World Bank.
The secretary informed the minister that the World Bank Group (WBG) was preparing a new strategy for Pakistan, which will guide the engagement of its three institutions including WB, International Finance Corporation and Multilateral International Guarantee Agency for the next five years and will be designed to focus on the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. 
She informed that the financial envelop for Pakistan, which was around $ 9 billion in the previous Country Strategy Partnership 2010-14, has now been proposed to be considerably enhanced.
She informed that during the consultations process over 30 meetings, the WBG team met with over 400 individuals, from civil society organisations, media representatives, parliamentarians, political leaders, Chief Ministers and cabinet members, civil servants, academics, think tanks, youth groups, the private sector, and other local and international development partners. 
She mentioned that the focus of the international donors remains tackling the energy crisis, increasing economic opportunity for women and youth, improving service delivery, addressing inequality, and combating climate change. 

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