ISLAMABAD - The provincial governments of Punjab and Sindh, through Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), will embark upon a project worth $47.6 million for transforming the Indus Basin with climate resilient agriculture and water management.

The Central Development Working Party had last month approved the project for transforming the Indus Basin with climate resilient agriculture and water management, official source told The Nation.

Green Climate Fund (GCF) will provide a grant of $34.99 million, through Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, for the project. The total cost of transforming the Indus Basin with climate resilient agriculture and water management project is $47.6 million and it will be jointly executed by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with the provincial governments of Punjab and Sindh, official documents revealed. The project will based in Punjab and Sindh provinces of Pakistan and it will be completed in six years.

Green Climate Fund (GCF) had already agreed to provide $34.99 million through Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for the projects, the source maintained. The total amount of grant from GCF is $34.99 million while $12.7 million will be contributed by the co-financer i.e. Punjab and Sindh governments from their respective Annual Development Plans (ADPs). The share of Government of Punjab envisaged in the GCF funding proposal is $8.0 million, while the remaining will be funded by the government of Sindh. The funds will be provided from the provincial ADPs with yearly allocations spread over the life of project. The project objectives include, strengthen institutional and regulatory systems of agriculture and irrigation for climate responsive planning and development, to increase generation of climate information and its effective use in quick response to climate disasters and decision making, enhance adaptive capacity of the farming community through reduced exposure to onfarm climate threats and to create awareness of climate change threats and risk reduction amongst stakeholders and develop their capacity in these aspects. The Government of Punjab will transfer funds (Rs. 1,392 million) to FAO through the mechanism called Unilateral Trust Funds (UTF) Agreement to be signed between FAO and Punjab Government. Being Accredited Agency of the project, the funds will be managed by the FAO along with the GCF funds. Out of total GCF grant of $ 34.99 million, about $ 22 million will be spent to support activities in the Punjab in addition to its co-finance share of $8m.