Pakistan, WB ink $1.3b seven project agreements

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MOHAMMAD ARSHAD 
ISLAMABAD

The World Bank onFriday commited to provide $1.3b for social protection, improving human capital and building resilience in Pakistan.

In this regard, Country Director World Bank Najy Benhassine signed seven project agreements amounting to $1,336 million including grant of $128 million here at Economic Affairs Division.

Secretary Economic Affairs Noor Ahmed, signed the financing agreements on behalf of the Government of Pakistan while representatives of Governments of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan signed their respective project agreements online.

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 Governance Sectors.

Najy Benhassine signed the documents on behalf of the World Bank and assured World Bank’s continuous financial and technical support to Government of Pakistan to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the country.

On the occasion, Minister for Economic Affairs, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, thanked the World Bank Country Management for extending their continuous support to the Government of Pakistan in achieving sustainable economic development in the country.

The Minister highlighted that 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.

The Minister for Economic Affairs reiterated the commitment of Federal Government to extend all possible support to the provincial governments to address the financing needs necessary to overcome the development issues.

During the ceremony, the Government of Pakistan and the World bank signed the following seven project agreements CrisisResilient Social Protection Program (CRISP) $600 million; the objective of the program is 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 program is focused on the key initiatives being undertaken by Benazir Income Support Program under the Ehaas Conditional Cash Transfer 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.

Locust Emergency and Food Security Project $200 million: the Project, through a strengthened and better c o o r d i n a t e d federal?provincial government system, will introduce and implement a set of customized activities, such as conducting locust surveillance and controlling operations, rehabilitating livelihoods of affected rural communities and farmers, strengthening and operating the Food Security & Nutrition Information System, 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.