Pakistan must use flood aid responsibly-World Bank

The World Bank and the United States on Sunday urged Pakistan to take steps to reassure donor countries that it is capable of using their flood aid responsibly and transparently and that it can enact reforms.

Massive flooding in Pakistan began in late July and swept through the country, leaving an area almost the size of England under water. The United Nations has said the floods affected more than 20 million people, damaged or destroyed nearly 1.9 million homes and killed 1,700 people.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick told a high-level U.N. meeting on Pakistan that Islamabad would have to prove its ability to manage foreign aid ahead of an October meeting in Brussels to review a flood damage assessment report the World Bank and Asian Development Bank are preparing.

“To make most effective use of help and even to secure full donor support, the government will need a reconstruction founded on transparency, accountability, flexibility, backed by law,” Zoellick said.

“Senior Pakistani officials have told us that this is what they wish to do,” he said. “Yet experience from many countries warns that the machinery tends to slide back to business as usual.”

He added that the Pakistani government should “continue to take concrete steps by the October meeting, backed by law, so we have an opportunity to build Pakistani ownership, governance and capacity.”