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.

Published by #empowerpakistanbyazd

Amer Zafar Durrani is the President of Reenergia and Paidartwanai. He is an acknowledged development expert and entrepreneur with thirty five years of global experience spanning more than twenty four countries—of which almost 18 years were spent with the World Bank Group. His present work keeps him engaged in Pakistan, China, Somalia, South Sudan, Kenya, Philippines, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan amongst others. He is now based in Pakistan and developing Reenergia as first of its’ kind ‘do-tank’—innovating and delivering solutions for improving lives while making a profit. In parallel, he has set up Paidartwanai Private Limited, an energy supply and consulting company with a mission to develop sustainable provision and consumption of energy through increasingly distributed and renewable energy systems. Amer is also a Senior Fellow at Pakistan Institute of Development Economists. He is also the Industry Co-Chair on the Energy Corporate Advisory Council in National University of Sciences and Technology, and a partner to NJHR, Geopolicity and RIZ Consulting. He continues supporting, through Reenergia, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), International Trade Center (ITC), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank Group, and the United Nations Office for Project Services, amongst many global organizations. In his personal capacity, he has been lecturing at the National Defense College and University (Islamabad), National School of Public Policy and University of Birmingham. He frequently appears as invited special guest in Media (TV and Radio) on issues relating to public policy and is a regularly speaker on various other international and local forums. Amer speaks Urdu, English, Punjabi, and can has working knowledge of Arabic, Russian and Dari-Persian. He is a graduate of the University of Texas, Austin, USA and has trained at the National Defense University, Pakistan and Lahore University of Management Sciences. He can be reached at and

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