WB approves $1.69b for flood relief to Pakistan

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The World Bank has approved $1.692 billion in financing for five projects to support people living in flood-affected areas of southeastern Sindh province of Pakistan.

Three projects support rehabilitation and housing reconstruction and the restoration of crop production for vulnerable communities, while another two projects support health services for mothers and children, the WB said in a press release.

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, WB Country Director for Pakistan.

The Sindh Flood Emergency Rehabilitation Project ($500 million) will help rehabilitate damaged infrastructure, provide short-term livelihood opportunities, and strengthen government 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.

A community-level cash-for-work program will provide short-term income support to approximately 100,000 households. This will include semi-skilled and unskilled labour and will support livestock restocking for affected smallholder livestock farmers.

The Sindh Floods Emergency Housing Reconstruction Project ($500 million) 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.

The Sindh Water and Agriculture Transformation Project ($292 million) 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.