Islamabad: The World Bank has signed several agreements with Pakistan to provide $1.33 billion worth of assistance to help the country achieve sustainable economic development.
The financing for seven projects worth $1.33b, including $128 million grant, would support the government’s initiatives in social protection, agriculture and food security, disaster and climate risk management, improving infrastructure for resilience, human capital development and governance sectors.
The secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs Noor Ahmad and country director of the World Bank (WB) Najy Benhassine signed the financing agreements on Friday. Representatives of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan governments also signed their respective agreements. Minister for Economic Affairs Khusro Bakhtyar thanked the WB for the crucial support and said: “This continued and enhanced support shows the confidence of international financial institution and development partners on the progress and reforms being taken by the present government.”
One of the key projects to be funded by WB include the $600 million financing from the International Development Association (IDA) for Crisis-Resilient Social Protection Programme (CRISP). It will help expand Pakistan’s national poverty alleviation programme called Ehsaas to protect vulnerable households from economic shocks triggered by the pandemic. “Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of families across Pakistan face economic hardship...This investment supports Ehsaas in developing an adaptive social protection system that is more efficient and offers a new model for crisis-response and increasing household resilience to future shocks” said Najy Benhassine.
Projects to be funded by World Bank:
1. US$600 million for Crisis-Resilient Social Protection Programme (CRISP) – It would help develop an adaptive social protection system to create future crisis-resilience among poor and vulnerable households.
2. US$200 million for Locust Emergency and Food Security Project – Through a strengthened system, the project will introduce a set of customized activities, to address the desert locust outbreak and to reduce vulnerability to climate change in the long-term.
3. US$200 million for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Human Capital Investment Project – It aims to improve availability, utilization and quality of primary healthcare services and elementary education services in four districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province hosting refugees: Peshawar, Nowshera Haripur and Swabi.
4. US$200 million for Sindh Resilience Project – The project would strengthen Sindh’s capacity to manage natural disasters and public health emergencies. It will also support the construction of 35 small rainwater-fed recharge dams in the drought-prone regions including Karachi, Jamshoro, Thatta, Dadu and Nagarparker.
5. US$86 million for Balochistan Livelihood & Entrepreneurship and Balochistan Human Capital Investment Projects – It would help create employment opportunities for rural communities; achieve sustainability of enterprises and improve quality health and education services in Balochistan.
6. US$50 for Supporting Institutional Interventions for Management of Refugees Project – It aims to improve organizational and institutional capacity for managing refugees and host communities.