ECC approves Rs10b emergency funds for NDMA to procure relief goods

Directs finance division to immediately release Rs5b; clears goods which arrived at port before August 18
<p>ECC meeting at the Finance Division on Wednesday. PHOTO: HANDOUT FROM FINANCE MINISTRY</p>

ECC meeting at the Finance Division on Wednesday. PHOTO: HANDOUT FROM FINANCE MINISTRY

With hundreds of thousands of people displaced across the country due to the super floods, the apex financial decision-making forum of the federal cabinet Wednesday approved an emergency allocation of Rs10 billion for the national disaster management body to procure relief goods.

This was decided on Wednesday during a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the federal cabinet. The meeting was chaired by Federal Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, who joined virtually while in the USA. Others who attended the meeting included Federal Ministers of Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir Khan, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mehmmod, Federal Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Abdul Qadir Patel, former prime minister, MNA/PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Pasha Aisha Ghous Pasha, Coordinator to the PM on Economy Azhar Kayani, chairmen of NDMA, FBR, federal secretaries and other senior officers attended the meeting.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) detailed the devastation caused by the recent floods in Pakistan and the role being played by the authority in providing immediate relief to the flood affectees.

The authority said it had immediately started a process to procure relief goods on an emergency basis worth Rs. 2.4 billion.

However, due to the colossal scale of damages, the authority needed to increase the quantum of relief goods and has placed orders to procure items at cumulative cost of Rs7.113 billion.

With the government allocating Rs8 billion to the NDMA in procurement and the logistics cost for relief items - domestic and those sent by friendly countries, the changing scenario meant that the cost of only procuring goods had blown past Rs9.5 billion so far.

In this regard, the ECC approved an allocation of Rs10 billion for the authority. The committee also directed the Finance Division to immediately release half of that.

More imports cleared

The ECC also considered a summary of Ministry of Commerce on clearing consignments of imported goods in light of the government’s decision to allow all such imports after the payment of surcharge.

The forum approved the import of goods which had arrived until August 18 as per the approved mechanism.

Import of wheat through Gwadar deferred

A summary by the National Food Security Ministry to import wheat through the Gwadar sea port was deferred by ECC.

Flood survey to complete by Oct 15

Meanwhile, Federal Economic Affairs Minister Sardar Ayaz Sadiq chaired the first meeting of the Steering Committee for Coordination Regarding International Assistance for Flood Relief Activities.

The meeting discussed mapping of humanitarian assistance and relief efforts.

Sadiq said that the damage assistance report is expected to be ready by October 15, and will provide a complete picture on the overall damage done to the country.

Highlighting the support needed immediately – including food, medicine, mosquitto nets, shelters and other items – he said that the country still required committments from the international community on rehabilitation and reconstruction phases.

“We still need more assistance for the second and third phase of rehabilitation and reconstruction as the devastation is immeasurable,” Sadiq stated.

He encouraged the international development partners for assistance with developing climate-resilient infrastructure for the long-term benefit of the country.

The international development partners appreciated the importance of creating the platform to help coordinate with the government more effectively and decided to hold a follow-up next week for efficient coordination.

The steering committee had been formed on the directions of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to encourage better coordination between the government and international development partners to effectively provide international assistance to the flood affected areas.

It was attended by the representatives from the United Nations, Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Union (EU), World Bank (WB), USAID, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, BISP, Ministry of Finance, NDMA and OCHA as well as senior officers of EAD.

miftah ismail

Floods 2022

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