On Friday, the World Bank signed agreements with Pakistan to provide $1.336 billion worth of assistance which would boost the country’s foreign exchange reserves and help support social sectors.
A total of six project agreements worth $1.336bn, including $128 million grant, were signed to 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 governance sectors.
Noor Ahmad, The secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, signed the financing agreements on behalf of the government of Pakistan while representatives of governments of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan signed their respective agreements online. Najy Benhassine, country director of the World Bank, signed the agreements on behalf of his organisation.
The first $600 million loan agreement pertained to Crisis-Resilient Social Protection Programme (CRISP) to support the development of more adaptive social protection system that will contribute to future crisis-resilience among poor and vulnerable households in the country. The programme is focused on the key initiatives being undertaken by the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) under Ehsaas Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programmes, namely Kafaalat, Waseela-i-Taleem, and Nashonuma. The financial inclusion and informal worker support initiatives of Ehsaas have also been included in the programme.
The loan was signed by the board of executive directors of the Bank a day earlier under its International Development Association (IDA) programme.