(Khalid Sibtain)


ISLAMABAD  : The World Bank has announced all-out financial and technical support to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s various green initiatives launched for environmental conservation and protection as well as achieving enhanced disaster resilience, particularly Green Stimulus initiative, the Bank’s country director Mr. Najy Benhassine told Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Climate Change. A World Bank delegation called on Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam and convyed the Bank’s all-out support to the green post-COVID-19 economic recovery initiative and afforestation and nature conservation programmes, particularly Green Stimulus initiative launched by the climate change ministry under Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision for Clean Green Pakistan, according to a press statement issued here on Thursday. During the meeting held here at the climate change ministry, the country director Mr. Najy Benhassine informed the PM’s aide further that funding of US $120 million pledged for the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Green Stimulus initiative has already been approved and can be utilisation by the country to boost green jobs in the country for those rendered unemployed due to Covid-19 crisis by engaging them in the country’s green projects being implemented for conservation and protection of the nature. He also highlighted that the World Bank management is highly impressed with the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision for Clean Green Pakistan programme and various green projects initiated under the vision, particularly one of the world’s largest ambitious 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme (TBTTP). “Having been impressed with the marvelous green initiatives of the incumbent government of Prime Minister Imran Khan, we at the World Bank are mulling over replication of Pakistan’s green initiatives in other countries in different parts of the world,” the Bank’s country head Najy Benhassine said. Explaining about the Green Stimulus initiative, the PM’s special Assistant Malik Amin Aslam said the Green Stimulus initiative 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 business and assorted economic activities. “Prime Minister Imran Khan had also approved the ‘Green Stimulus’ package in April this year as a part of the government’s efforts to extend green cover in the county, which has led to generation of 87,000 green jobs for the youth rendered unemployed because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Malik Amin Aslam recalled during the meeting with the World Bank delegation at his office in the climate change ministry. While sharing other green projects being implemented under the environmental leadership of PM Imran Khan, the PM’s aide said that the climate change ministry had 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 further 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 per cent to 15 per cent by 2023 and create 5,000 green jobs across the country,” Malik Amin Aslam elaborated. The World Bank country head vehemently lauded the government’s green economic recovery and green jobs creation, afforestation and nature conservation as well as protection programme, which would hopefully help boost Pakistan’s resilience against adverse impacts of climate change on health, education, water, energy, agriculture, food security and energy sectors. Meanwhile, both the sides also vowed to collaborate towards combating deleterious aftermaths of the global health crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic and global warming on various socioeconomic sectors. “It’s really inspiring that despite limited financial resources, Pakistan launched green stimulus initiative under Clean Green Programme, which has led to creation of thousands of green jobs for those rendered unemployed due to pandemic,” the World Bank head remarked. He said the his organisation would utilise financial, technological and knowledge resources to support Pakistan through its resources and experiences in the overall post Covid-19 green recovery through enhanced investment in green sectors, including forestry, environmental protection and climate change resilience through mitigation and adaptation initiatives in the country’s climate vulnerable socioeconomic sectors.


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