World Bank Lauds Imran Khan’s Climate Friendly Initiatives

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 and achieving enhanced disaster resilience, particularly the 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 conveyed the Bank’s all-out support to the green post-COVID-19 economic recovery initiative and afforestation and nature conservation programmes, particularly the 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 at the climate change ministry, the Country Director, Najy Benhassine, informed the PM’s aide that funding of US $120 million pledged for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Green Stimulus initiative has already been approved and can be utilized by the country to increase green jobs in the country for those rendered unemployed due to the COVID-19 crisis by engaging them in the country’s green projects being implemented for conservation and protection of nature.

He also highlighted that the World Bank management is highly impressed with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision for the Clean Green Pakistan 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 marvellous 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 the creation of additional 5,000 green jobs for the 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 sides also vowed to collaborate towards combating deleterious aftermaths of the global health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and global warming in various socio-economic sectors.

“It’s really inspiring that despite limited financial resources, Pakistan launched green stimulus initiative under Clean Green Programme, which has led to the creation of thousands of green jobs for those rendered unemployed due to pandemic,” the World Bank head remarked.

He said his organization would utilize 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 socio-economic sectors.

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