The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on Tuesday approved $1.692 billion in financing for five projects to support people living in flood-affected areas of Sindh province, ARY News reported.
According to the statement issued by WB, out of the five, three projects support rehabilitation and housing reconstruction and the restoration of crop production for vulnerable communities. Out of the three, two projects are worth $500 million and another is worth $292 million.
“Sindh was the province worst-affected by the 2022 floods. There were huge damages to the housing, health, and agriculture sectors and people lost their livelihoods. Beyond the rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged houses and infrastructure, our engagement in the flood response effort is an opportunity to strengthen resilience, and reform institutions and governance structures”, said Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.
The $500 million “Sindh Flood Emergency Rehabilitation Project” will focus on providing short-term livelihood opportunities and strengthen the provincial government’s capacity to respond to disasters.
“The project will help restore and improve critical irrigation and flood protection infrastructure, water supply schemes, roads, and related infrastructure. At least 2 million people—approximately 50 percent of whom are women—in the most flood-affected districts will benefit from the restoration and the resilient reconstruction of critical infrastructure”.
A community-level cash-for-work program will provide short-term income support to approximately 100,000 households.
“The $500 million Sindh Floods Emergency Housing Reconstruction Project will support owner-driven and multi-hazard resilient reconstruction of core housing units. A housing subsidy will provide reconstruction and restoration grants for 350,000 housing units (almost 20 percent of the total housing rehabilitation needs for Sindh). Cash grants will be provided for houses with structural damage to partially finance reconstruction or restoration. “
In addition, basic rainwater harvesting systems and twin pit latrines will be provided to improve access to water and sanitation.
Meanwhile, the $292 million approved for the “Sindh Water and Agriculture Transformation Project” will increase agricultural water productivity, improve integrated water resources management, and restore crop production by flood-affected farmers.
More than 385,000 households (approximately 1.9 million people) are expected to benefit from the project. As an immediate response to the floods, the project will provide cash transfers to approximately 300,000 flood-affected farming households to help restore crop production through the purchase of seeds, fertilizer, and other critical inputs. On the medium term around 70,000 households will benefit from improved irrigation services and agricultural support that will help boost farming income. An estimated 14,000 households will receive direct financial benefits from the pilot smart subsidy schemes targeting small- and medium-sized farmers,” the WB said.
The Sindh Strengthening Social Protection Delivery System Project ($200 million) will strengthen the provincial social protection delivery system and enhance access to and utilization of mother and child health services. The project supports alignment and connectivity with the Federal National Database Registration Authority and will provide conditional cash transfers (CCTs) to 1.3 million mothers and their children to support improved maternal and child health outcomes, particularly in the wake of service disruption after the floods. The CCTs will be available to bottom 15 districts of Sindh, selected on the basis of the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), and cover 65 percent of the total flood-affected areas in the province to help mitigate flood impacts, particularly food insecurity, and enable continued use of maternal and children health services.
The lender has approved $200 million for Sindh Integrated Health and Population Project. The project will help improve both the quality and utilization of basic reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition services. It will also help in rehabilitation and reconstruction of health infrastructure that was damaged in the floods, disrupting the delivery of these services.
The project will improve access to quality healthcare services for, the population of the selected Government Dispensaries in remote and peri-urban areas especially women, girls, and children, and in the flood-affected settlements in Sindh.
“The World Bank will continue to support the Government and people of Pakistan to recover from the recent flood emergency and strengthen long term resilience to such climate-related shocks,” the statement concluded.