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August 30, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. IMF approves much-needed $1.1bn payout
• The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on August 29, 2022 completed the combined 7th and 8th reviews of a loan facility for Pakistan, allowing immediate disbursement of $1.1 billion to the country, said an official IMF announcement.
• The statement pointed out that the disbursement `brings total purchases (money made available) for budget support under this arrangement to about $3.9 billion.
• This Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement –signed in July2019-was to provide $6bn to Pakistan during a 39-month period.
• On Monday, the IMF board approved an extension of the programme until end June 2023
2. Govt to form response centre to manage flood crisis
• The ruling alliance on August 29, 2022 held threadbare discussions to devise comprehensive plans for the relief and rehabilitation of millions of flood victims, as well as chalking out a strategy to meet natural catastrophes of this magnitude in future as the flooding caused by unprecedented monsoon rains swept nearly a third of the country.
• The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, also decided to form a National Flood Response and Coordination Centre to provide proper institutional response to the calamity, which will comprise federal ministers, representatives of armed forces, chief ministers and experts It was also decided that all illegal constructions on the banks of rivers and other water courses would be removed
3. Cabinet donates one-month salary for flood relief
• The Punjab cabinet`s second meeting on August 29, 2022 expressed complete solidarity with the flood victims and announced giving them one month`s salary. The chief minister also reserved his helicopter for flood relief activities.
• The cabinet`s meeting, chaired by Chaudhry Parvez Elahi decided to meet the needs of other flood-affected provinces and the cabinet decided to dispatch medicines and medical staff to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan.
• The meeting endorsed the decision to declare flood affected areas of Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan and Mianwali as calamity-stricken and offered prayers for the departed souls. It also extended sympathies to the bereaved heirs
4. UN`s flash appeal today as flood aid trickles in
• As the United Nations is all set to launch a $161 million `flash appeal` on Tuesday (August 30, 2022) to provide critical food and cash assistance to Pakistan in the wake of unprecedented floods that have killed over 1,000 people and displaced millions, humanitarian aid supplies from across the world continued to arrive in the country on Monday.
• Although the government and the humanitarian partners are working to provide immediate relief to the flood-hit populace, the United Nations urgently needs $34.28 million to scale up immediate relief efforts, Dawn has learnt.
• UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan Julien Harneis called for `burden-sharing and solidarity` in the wake of a `climate-change driven catastrophe` which is expected to worsen. She said diseases and malnutrition are expecte d to rise in the post-floods scenario
5. Pakistan to host Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards this year
• Pakistan is set to host the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards (APICTA) for the first time ever. This will provide representatives from local companies to meet innovators and entrepreneurs from the region.
• The event is planned for the first week of December where all 16 member countries are expected to participate.
• This was announced by a delegation headed by Stan Singh, that is currently visiting Pakistan.
• Mr Singh said the reason for choosing Pakistan was that the country went through a challenging period and the economy was now back on track, and information and communication technology (ICT) sector of the country was growing at a fast pace, with high quality human resource