Speech by Shixin Chen, ADB Vice President (Operations 1), at the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan 2023, 9 January 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland
Respected Minister, Mr. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari; UNDP Administrator Mr. Achim Steiner; Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen. Good morning.
On behalf of the Asian Development Bank, thank you, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres, for today’s conference and your leadership at this critical time.
Congratulations on the timely completion of the Resilient Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Framework (4RF) derived from the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), which demonstrated the strong leadership of the government of Pakistan with the joint efforts of development partners.
The framework forms a strong basis for the government’s comprehensive disaster recovery plans, with principles and priorities for future action set out over the short, medium, and long term.
We highly commend the ownership of both national and provincial governments being well embedded in the framework. ADB is pleased to be part of this strategic task with the government of Pakistan and other development partners.
Pakistan, despite its very low carbon emissions, is one of the countries most affected by extreme weather events. The floods highlight the importance of building back better with climate resilience. We are very pleased to see the framework reflect the fact that investing in infrastructure alone cannot build resilience - rather a concerted, comprehensive, and long-term commitment can help to reduce risk.
We believe it is critical that reconstruction work shall be coupled with efforts on macroeconomic stabilization and good governance for recovery. It is also important that climate adaptation ecosystem should be institutionalized across all sectors. In the long run, investment in preventive, multifunctional disaster resilient infrastructure and early warning systems has to be prioritized. We also believe that responsible and accountable implementation and enforcement are pivotal to ensuring the success of the 4RF.
As Asia and the Pacific’s climate bank, ADB is aiming to deliver $100 billion in cumulative climate financing by 2030. We’ve initiated the Energy Transition Mechanism, a scalable, market-based approach to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, and as a new approach brought to COP27, we’re piloting the Innovative Finance Facility for Climate in Asia and Pacific, IF-CAP, to scale up climate financing.
Under this strategy, ADB has acted swiftly to support Pakistan’s flood response. Beyond our contribution to the PDNA and the government’s 4RF, we approved a $557 million emergency flood-assistance package to Pakistan on top of a $1.5 billion countercyclical program, which also partly supports social protection and food security in flood-affected areas. Meanwhile, sizable additional co-financing has been mobilized.
Going forward, ADB will reprioritize up to $1 billion for climate and disaster risk reconstruction as well as resilience support over the next three years. Key sectors of support include agriculture and natural resources, urban services, social protection, health, and public financial management. We welcome the continued efforts with development partners on cofinancing to maximize the impact of our support to Pakistan.
In conclusion, I recognize the urgency of our collective action to support Pakistan on its path to recovery and disaster resilience. While we cannot prevent the next natural hazard, collectively we can stop the next incident from becoming a disaster. We are ready to work hand-in-hand with our partners, the government and people of Pakistan, to ensure that the good intentions expressed today are converted into making a real difference on the ground.