Asian Development Bank (ADB) provided a $200 million loan to strengthen Pakistan’s disaster risk management including support to the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) to reduce the country’s vulnerability to disasters from natural hazards, and climate variability and change. As part of the support, a $1 million technical assistance grant has been approved for Capacity Building of Disaster Risk Management Institutions.
ADB will also administer a $3.3 million grant provided by the Government of Australia. “Pakistan is increasingly exposed and vulnerable to various natural hazards and climate change which pose a significant risk to the fiscal stability of the federal and provincial governments,” said Werner Liepach, ADB Country Director for Pakistan. “The establishment and operationalization of NDRMF will help reduce vulnerabilities to natural hazards and improve the fiscal management of disaster risks.”
According to the Global Climate Risk Index, Pakistan is one of the most affected countries by extreme weather events from 1995 to 2014. Increasing natural hazards have resulted in significant loss of life, economic damage and the reversal of development gains. These events severely impact the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable, resulting in mass migration, trade and commerce disruption, and market destabilization. The annual economic impact of flooding alone is estimated at $1.2 billion-$1.8 billion, equivalent to 0.5%-0.8% of GDP.
The government’s disaster risk management policy and strategy have transitioned from a largely response-oriented approach to a broader focus on disaster risk reduction and preparedness. However, progress is limited by financing and capacity constraints. The assistance will provide financial, technical, and capacity development support to NDRMF and is expected to contribute to the country’s increased and sustainable institutional and physical capacity to reduce the socioeconomic and fiscal impacts of natural hazards and climate change. Investments to reduce vulnerabilities to natural hazards will be increased through matching grant-funding provided by NDRMF to partners and stakeholders for various structural and nonstructural interventions.
NDRMF will also carry out quantitative risk modeling analysis for leading natural hazards faced by Pakistan to develop a comprehensive national disaster risk framework strategy. The risk modeling work will be used to create disaster risk maps and quantitative national and subnational information on the expected levels of loss for hazard events of varying types, intensities, and return periods.
ADB has been a major partner of Pakistan in its efforts to integrate disaster risk management in its development agenda, and has supported the country’s reconstruction efforts after major disasters. It has approved nearly $2 billion in loans and grants from 2005 to 2015 for the reconstruction of transport, irrigation and flood protection, housing, education, health, and disaster-resilient livelihood infrastructure, together with DRM capacity building.