Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, chaired the first meeting of the International Partners Support Group (IPSG) in Prime Minister Office, Islamabad, today. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Secretaries Ministries of Finance and Planning Development & Special Initiatives were also present in the meeting.
The meeting was attended by a large number of bilateral and multilateral development partners, and senior diplomats, including Ambassadors, of USA, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Europe Union (EU), Australia, China, France, the Netherlands, UK, Canada, Russia, Italy, Azerbaijan, Qatar, Turkey, Republic of Korea and Japan.
United Nations Resident Coordinator, Resident Representatives of UNDP Pakistan, country heads and representatives from UNICEF, Asian Development Bank, World Bank, IMF, USAID, FCDO, Islamic Development Bank and Italian Cooperation Agency also attended the first meeting of the IPSG.
The Minister for Economic Affairs welcomed the distinguished participants and expressed gratitude for their continued support and commitment towards Climate Resilient Pakistan. He highlighted the purpose of constituting IPSG as a forum to facilitate coordinated implementation of the 4RF. The Minister, EAD, expressed hope that IPSG would be helpful in securing financial and other commitments for the implementation of climate resilient projects over the coming years. He appreciated the role of UNDP as the secretariat of IPSG.
Mr. Knut Ostby, Resident Representative UNDP Pakistan, highlighted that wide scale of destruction and human suffering caused by floods 2022 have reminded us of the urgency for collective action and solidarity to tackle the existential threat of Climate Change. He stressed that the recovery process ahead is not a one-time event but would require sustained efforts, collaboration, and commitment. He hoped that IPSG will provide sustained strategic direction to the recovery process.
Secretary, Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives and Chairman Planning & Development Board of Sindh made detailed presentations on the recovery and reconstruction efforts. The Mission Director USAID and Representatives of UNICEF highlighted their work in Pakistan and emphasized the need of building back better by investing in the future with special focus on human development. UNICEF also highlighted the need for immediate action to deal with increasing cases of malnutrition among children in affected areas.
The meeting proceeded with a detailed discussion session between the Government representatives and International Development Partners including the EU, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. The international development partners appreciated the setting up of the forum and the initiative of the government in line with the Geneva declaration. UN Resident Coordinator stressed that there is still urgent need for humanitarian assistance in flood affected areas of Sindh and Balochistan. Secretary EAD assured the development partners of complete support to IPSG. He appreciated the fact that the IPSG was invaluable as a high-level coordination forum between the government and international development partners.
It is pertinent to mention that Ministry of Economic Affairs notified IPSG on 17th March, 2023. It is a 41 members group comprising of Federal Ministries and International Development Partners. Minister for Economic Affairs is the convener of IPSG whereas UNDP Pakistan will provide secretariat support.