WB says $120m pledged for GSI ready for disbursement

By Staff Reporter
Friday – April 2, 2021
ISLAMABAD: World Bank (WB) informed, Thursday, that the funding of $120 million pledged for prime minister (PM) Imran Khan’s green stimulus initiative (GSI) stands approved and can be utilised to boost green jobs, for those rendered unemployed due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis by engaging them in green projects being implemented for conservation and protection of nature.

According to a press release, a WB delegation headed by WB country director (WB-CD) Najy Benhassine called on the special assistant to the PM (SAPM) on climate change (SAPM-CC) Malik Amin Aslam at the climate change ministry, in the federal capital.

WB-CD Benhassine said the bank offers all-out support to the green post-COVID-19 economic recovery initiative and afforestation and nature conservation programmes, particularly the GSI.

“Being impressed with the green initiatives of incumbent regime, we at the WB are mulling over replication of Pakistan’s green initiatives in other countries in different parts of the world,” he mentioned.

SAPM-CC Aslam informed that the GSI was launched last year in April, after COVID-19 hit the country, for creation of green jobs for those youth who were rendered jobless from various sectors due to closure of businesses and assorted economic activities.

“The GSI led to the generation of 87,000 green jobs,” he recalled.

SAPM-CC Aslam said that the climate change ministry launched several other flagship programmes and projects, including the world’s largest afforestation programme of 10 billion tree tsunami programme, clean green Pakistan programme to achieve environmental sustainability and climate resilience through conservation and protection of environment, forests and wildlife.

He informed the delegation that another ambitious protected areas initiative (PAI) had also been launched under the umbrella programme ‘Green Pakistan,’ which aims at the conservation and promotion of nature-based solutions and creation of additional 5,000 green jobs for community members in the protected areas.

“The ambitious PAI primarily aims to enhance the country’s protected areas cover from 13 percent to 15 percent by 2023 and create 5,000 green jobs countrywide,” SAPM-CC Aslam elaborated.

WB-CD Benhassine lauded incumbent regime’s green economic recovery and green jobs creation, afforestation and nature conservation as well as protection programme, which will hopefully help boost Pakistan’s resilience against adverse impacts of climate change on health, education, water, energy, agriculture, food security and energy sectors.