The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved $213 million in financing for Balochistan on Thursday, with the goal of strengthening livelihoods and basic services as well as risk mitigation in communities vulnerable to the 2022 floods.
According to a statement, the funding is part of a programme agreed upon with the government to respond to the country’s disastrous floods last summer and to build a climate-resilient Pakistan.
“We will be working closely with the Government of Balochistan to support the affected communities by providing livelihood assistance and rehabilitating irrigation and flood protection infrastructures,” said Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.
“Not only will this help restore livelihoods, but it will also protect the population by increasing their resilience to potential future climate-related disasters and natural hazards.” This project is a component of the entire post-flood rehabilitation and resilient-reconstruction programme agreed upon with the authorities.”
Last year, unprecedented monsoon rains in the south and southwest of Pakistan, followed by glacier melt in the north, caused flooding that affected about 33 million people in the South Asian nation of 220 million, killing over 1,700 people and destroying homes, crops, bridges, highways, and livestock.
The Integrated Flood Resilience and Adaptation Project (IFRAP), according to a World Bank release, will provide house reconstruction grants to about 35,100 homeowners.
“It will also assist in the restoration of essential services by repairing damaged community infrastructure and facilities such as water supply, irrigation, roads, and community facilities.”
“Balochistan is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters due to its geographical location, socioeconomic background, and climate change,” said Yoro Sidibe, World Bank Senior Water Specialist.
“This project will help affected communities create economic opportunities while also ensuring social inclusion and participation.” It will also increase institutional capacity in terms of catastrophe preparedness and response in the future.”
According to WB, the project will help nearly 2.7 million people in selected communities in disaster-affected districts around Balochistan. IFRAP will rehabilitate degraded watersheds while also building institutional capacity at the provincial and municipal levels.