Policy & Strategy Committee to implement 4FR, pledges worth $10.92b

ISLAMABAD, Feb 01 (APP): After the successful pledges of $10.92 billion in the recent donor conference for the reconstruction in flood-affected areas in Pakistan, Federal Minister of Planning Development & Special Initiatives, Professor Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday formally chaired a first Policy & Strategy Committee meeting to implement the Resilient Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Framework (4RF).

The meeting was attended by the State Minister for Finance, Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman, Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah, representatives from Punjab, KP, AJK and GB were also present in the meeting.

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal is the Convener of the committee and the members include Minister for Finance and Revenue, Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister for Communication, Minister for Railways, Minister for Housing and Works, Minister for Climate Change, Minister for National Food Security and Research, all Chief Ministers/ Chief Secretaries of the Provinces, Chairman, National Disaster Management Authority, Secretary, Planning Ministry, representatives of  development partners, civil society organization and NGOs.

During the meeting the participants of the Committee discussed in length the terms of reference (TOR) of the Committee and representatives from across the country gave their recommendations. Under the TOR, it will examine and approve 4RF’s policies, plans, strategies, and standards and to ensure fast-track approval of projects under 4RF. Similarly, the Committee will ensure financial control and recommend timely independent audits of programs and projects by the Auditor General of Pakistan and independent third-party audits.

 Furthermore, the Committee will undertake periodical review of procurement procedures and sectoral policies to ensure timely implementation of 4RF. Besides, it will oversee functioning of the Implementation Management Committee, Recovery and Reconstruction Unit (RRU) at federal and provincial levels. The Committee will review progress every month.

While chairing the meeting, the Planning Minister said that Pakistan received an unprecedented response from the donor conference which was a great ‘success’ for the country. He said that now time has come to implement the decisions of the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan, held in Geneva on January 9,2023 in a letter and spirit without any delay.

The Minister asked all the relevant ministries and Divisions to make a timeline for the projects so that it can be implemented timely. During the meeting, it was also decided to conduct a third party evaluation to ensure the transparency of the projects. 

It is noted that the 4RF would be materialised in three phases including short term up to one- year, medium-term up to three years and long term up to five to seven years’ period. The 4FR document suggested effective coordination and participation arrangement among federal and provincial governments, development partners, donors, international and nationals NGOs, academic and private sector.

Similarly, another Committee Recovery and Reconstruction Unit (RRU) was also established on post-flood reconstruction projects envisaged in the 4RF. Chief Economist, Planning Commission is the Chairman of the Committee. The objective of the Committee is to coordinate the work of line ministries / provincial governments, and provide periodic progress reports to the Policy & Strategy Committee and to ensure enforcement of minimum standards for rehabilitation and reconstruction.

In October last year, the Post-Damage Needs Assessment (PDNA) — conducted jointly by the government of Pakistan and its international development partners, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Union, UN relief agencies, had estimated the aggregate cost of the calamity at $30.1 billion.