Foreign experts to visit province to assess additional support
KARACHI/QUETTA – A delegation of the World Bank led by its president Dr Jim Yong Kim called on Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri in Karachi where MPA Mir Asim Kurd Gailo, Senator Shahbaz Durrani, Chief Secretary Saifullah Chattha and other provincial officials were also present.
Expressing satisfaction over the reforms made by the provincial government in education and health departments, and on ongoing social development process, Dr Jim Yong Kim assured the government to review the support of the World Bank in different sectors. It was decided in the meeting that the World Bank experts would visit Balochistan to assess the additional support for the province.
In the meeting, reforms in education and health, minerals, water sector, environment, provision of technical education to the youth and other social development issues were thoroughly discussed. Health authorities informed the delegation about the proposed projects, including that of mother and child health project, capacity building of teachers, Quetta-Pishin development and review of impact of climate change and prevention programme, comprehensive development project of Quetta and coastal areas and development of agriculture and livestock sectors.
The chief minister said that the provincial government was utilising all available resources to improve health and education as both sectors were among the top priority of the government. “The educational budget has been increased to 24 per cent while the budget of health was raised to 12 per cent,” he said. He said that shortage of water was the biggest problem of the province which has badly affected agriculture and livestock sectors.
“Mounting pressure in education and health sectors and unemployment are also serious issues faced by Balochistan,” he said and sought World Bank support and assistance in this connection. The World Bank president said that the agenda presented by provincial authorities about its requirements was comprehensive and the experts of the bank would take detailed review of these agendas and after that the support of the bank to the province would be increased further.
World Bank Vice President Annette Dixon said that he had visited Balochistan and the authorities of the World Bank would soon visit the province where the proposals would be evaluated in detail. The World Bank country director said that documents prepared by the World Bank in 2011 regarding development of Balochistan would be reviewed and would be modified in accordance with requirements.
It may be mentioned here that the assistance of the World Bank for various sectors of the province is about Rs 60 billion, in which some projects have been completed while work on some projects are underway and some projects would be started.