The federal government will extend all possible support to provincial bodies to restore human capital by building a resilient service delivery system and promoting economic opportunities to ensure economic growth in the country, said Minister of Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan.

His comments came at the signing ceremony of a loan agreement for the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Spending Effectively for Enhanced Development (SPEED) programme worth $400 million with the World Bank on Friday.

The programme is aimed at facilitating the government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in improving the availability and management of public resources for the delivery of primary, middle and high school education and primary health services in the province.

Read: $335m loan being secured for vaccines

The scheme will add a medium-term perspective to fiscal planning and budgeting to create fiscal space for education and health service delivery and provide funding and staff for such service delivery.

Improved management of public finances will be ensured by delegating greater financial management authority to line departments, rolling out integrated financial management information systems and modernisation of procurement processes.

Ayub termed the ceremony a reflection of continued confidence of international financial institutions (IFIs) in Pakistan government’s policy and programme.

He thanked the World Bank’s country management for extending its continued support to the government of Pakistan for achieving sustainable economic development.

World Bank Country Director Najy Benhassine highlighted the global lender’s continued financial and technical support to the government of Pakistan in achieving the priority development objectives and promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the country.

Economic Affairs Division Secretary Noor Ahmed was also present on the occasion.

Read more: World Bank sets tough loan terms

Foreign-funded projects

Separately, Ayub chaired a meeting on foreign-funded projects of the government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and reviewed progress on the existing portfolio.

During the meeting, he emphasised the need for removing all the bottlenecks and implementation of projects on a fast-track basis.

In order to ensure a smooth and timely completion of projects, he directed the authorities to review progress on the projects every month.

The meeting was attended by all senior officials of the Economic Affairs Division.

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