(Islamabad, December 7, 2005)
"A French delegation comprising of representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the French Agency for Development (AFD) and the Ministry of Foreign affairs visited Pakistan from 4th to 8th December 2005. This visit comes as a follow up of the 19th November donors Conference in which the French Foreign Minister, Mr. Philippe Douste-Blazy, had pledged 81 millions euros (95 millions $) for the reconstruction phase of the devastated areas. This amount is in addition to the relief assistance already allocated by the French Authorities (around 30 millions $).
During this visit the delegates held meetings with representatives of the Pakistani Government, namely General Zubair, Chairman of ERRA, Secretary of EAD, M. Khalid Saeed, as well as representatives of the International Multilateral Institutions in Islamabad, such as the delegation of the European Commission, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, UNDP, and the Islamic Development Bank. They also held meetings with bilateral donors notably DFID, JBIC/JICA, USAID, GTZ and the Turkish representatives.
The focus of these meetings was twofold, i.e. pre-identification of projects related to the reconstruction phase and coordination with the various donor agencies. The delegation also conducted a field trip to Muzaffarabad during which they met with local authorities. This first visit will be followed very soon by a technical team which would further elaborate the feasibility of any eventual projects on the basis of the groundwork done by this mission./."