Pakistan’s COVID-19 Response and the International Financial Institutions: Where is the Rapid Needs Assessment and a National Action Plan?

Pakistan’s COVID-19 Response and the International Financial Institutions: Where is the Rapid Needs Assessment and a National Action Plan?

In times of disaster, and we are in one, almost all nations opt for a national action plan to both react and to proactively prepare for relief, recovery, and restoration/rebuilding; often including building resilience post disaster. In global vernacular it is called DRM or Disaster Risk Management, also often Disaster Risk Mitigation and Management. Disasters often lead to or exacerbate existing fragilities and conflicts leading to localized or spreading violence. Pakistan has hitherto been well served by always timely preparing such disaster needs assessments and plans—not only for internal consumption but to manage external offers of assistance. Has Pakistan done so for the CONVID-19 pandemic at our hands? I provide here, some suggestions unless these actions have already been undertaken and the public has not been informed.

On the Corona assessment, the govt can request the ADB, WB, EU and UN to do a joint assessment under the 2008 Protocol of Cooperation, or it can ask the Bank only (both options have pros and cons). This could be a simple letter to Bank from MOF, requesting for “support the Government of Pakistan in carrying out and Covid-19 Impact and Needs Assessment (CINA), in accordance with the global EU-UN-WB PDNA/DALA methodology. PDNA is Post Disaster Needs Assessment and DALA is Damage and Loss Assessment (which is a sub-tool of PDNA used by EU, UN and WB).

However, this is more complex that a PDNA. In FCV situations, the tool that comes closest to this kind of situation is the Recovery and Peace Building Assessment (RPBA)—previously known as the Post Crisis Needs Assessment (PCNA). A very successful PCNA was conducted in Pakistan by WB, UN and EU (and ADB) under Govt leadership in 2009-10 for the FATA crisis. Hence there is a precedence that can be established and used.

The tool that I propose using is a PDNA-RPBA hybrid that was developed in Ukraine, later used in Nigeria and many other places. A recent one was the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh.

While some may rebut this idea, this can be an enormous management tool for the government even post crisis and can be done by a dedicated team while reactive measures are being taken to manage the pandemic. Do let us know if we can assist in any way.

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