The Acting Assistant to USAID Administrator of Afghanistan and Pakistan, Larry Sampler met the Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here on Monday.

He was accompanied by senior USAID and US Embassy officials on the occasion.

At the outset, Larry Sampler mentioned about his participation in the recently held Economic Cooperation Conference in Afghanistan and said the participants acknowledged the substantial contribution made by Pakistan at the event. He also lauded Pakistan’s contribution.

The Minister while appreciating $250 million assistance for Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) reiterated that disbursement of funds/ financing of projects should be carried out in consultation with the government. The Minister on this occasion added that an estimated $1.9 billion are required for ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb, beefing up security and meeting expenses on return/ rehabilitation of TDPs.

Larry Sampler said the US government and people looked forward to the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the United States. Both sides hoped that important matters relating to bilateral economic cooperation would be discussed during the visit, further strengthening the overall Pak-US relations.

Larrry Sampler also on this occasion renewed support for the Diamer Bhasha Dam project and highlighted commitment for investment in renewable energy projects. He added that US would continue to support Pakistan government’s initiative for improving governance in the power sector. He said US would support small hydro and solar power projects and added that the USAID planned to hold a Business Opportunities Conference to highlight the potential and opportunities in Pakistan in the renewable energy sector. He assured the Finance Minister of his country’s continued assistance in improving the financial markets in Pakistan.

Minister Dar said Pakistan greatly valued USAID’s assistance to Pakistan in various fields. He said the government of Pakistan was looking forward to the meeting of the Pak-US Economic Working Group later this year. He also shared with the visiting dignitary the energy sector reforms undertaken by the government which he said aimed at resolving the problem of energy shortage in the country.

Senior officials of the Finance and Economic Affairs Divisions attended the meeting.