The Minister for Economic Affairs, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, attended the signing ceremony of several project agreements worth $1,336 million, including a grant of $128 million with the World Bank at the Ministry of Economic Affairs today.
This financing will support the government’s initiatives in Social Protection; Disaster and Climate Risk Management; Improving Infrastructure for Resilience; Agriculture and Food Security; Human Capital Development; and the Governance Sectors.
The minister thanked the World Bank Country Management for extending its continuous support to the Government of Pakistan to achieve sustainable economic development in the country. He said that this continued and enhanced support shows the confidence of the international financial institution and the development partners in the progress and reforms being taken by the present government.
He also reiterated the government’s commitment to extend all possible support to the provincial governments to address the financing needs necessary to overcome development issues.
The Government of Pakistan and the World Bank signed the following seven project agreements during the ceremony:
The Crisis-Resilient Social Protection Program (CRISP) – $600 million: The objective of this program is to support the development of a more adaptive social protection system that will contribute to future crisis-resilience among the poor and vulnerable households in the country. It is focused on the key initiatives being undertaken by the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) under the Ehaas Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs, namely Kafaalat, Waseela-e-Taleem, and Nashonuma. The financial inclusion and informal worker support initiatives of Ehsaas have also been included in the program.
The Locust Emergency and Food Security Project – $200 million: This project will introduce and implement a set of customized activities through a strengthened and better coordinated federal‐provincial government system like conducting locust surveillance and controlling operations, rehabilitating the livelihoods of affected rural communities and farmers, strengthening and operating the Food Security & Nutrition Information System, and emphasizing climate‐smart agriculture measures and women’s participation, to effectively address the desert locust outbreak and to reduce vulnerability to climate change in the long term.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Human Capital Investment Project – $200 million: The objective of this project is to improve the availability, utilization, and quality of primary healthcare services and elementary education services in four districts (Peshawar, Nowshera, Haripur, and Swabi) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that have been hosting refugees
The Sindh Resilience Project – $200 million: The objective of this project is to mitigate flood and drought risks in the selected areas and to strengthen Sindh’s capacity to manage natural disasters and public health emergencies. The project will support the establishment of the Sindh Emergency Service, including the development of six divisional headquarters operational facilities, the provision of equipment, and the training of personnel. It will also support the construction of 35 small rainwater-fed recharge dams in the drought-prone regions of Sindh including Karachi, Jamshoro, Thatta, Dadu, and Nagarparker in Tharparkar District.
Balochistan Livelihood & Entrepreneurship and Balochistan Human Capital Investment Projects – $86 million: These projects aim to promote employment opportunities for rural communities; achieve sustainability of enterprises and improve the utilization of quality health and education services in various districts of Balochistan.
The Supporting Institutional Interventions for Management of Refugees Project – $50 million: The objective of this project is to improve organizational and institutional capacity for the management of refugees and host communities.
The Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Noor Ahmed, signed the Financing Agreements on behalf of the Government of Pakistan, while the representatives of Governments of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan signed their respective project agreements online. The World Bank Country Director for Pakistan, Najy Benhassine, signed the agreements on behalf of the World Bank.
The Country Director assured the Government of Pakistan of the World Bank’s continuous financial and technical support for the promotion of inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Pakistan.