WB approves $213m for Balochistan flood-hit people’s livelihood

ISLAMABAD    -    As part of the program agreed with the Government of Pakistan to re­spond to the devastating floods that had hit the country last summer and build a climate-resilient Pakistan, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors yesterday approved $213 million in financing to improve live­lihoods and essential services and enhance risk protection in commu­nities affected by the 2022 floods, with a focus on Balochistan.

“We will be working closely with the Government of Balochistan to support the affected communities by providing livelihood support and rehabilitating irrigation and flood protection infrastructures,” said Najy Benhassine, World Bank Coun­try Director for Pakistan.

“This will not only help restore livelihoods but also protect the pop­ulation by improving their resilience to potential future climate-related disasters and natural hazards. This project is part of the comprehen­sive package of post-floods rehabil­itation and resilient-reconstruction program agreed with the authori­ties,” the World Bank official said.

The Integrated Flood Resil­ience and Adaptation Project (IF­RAP) will provide housing recon­struction grants to approximately 35,100 homeowners to rebuild their homes following resilience stan­dards and livelihood grants to small­holder farmers to support livestock, promote climate-smart agriculture and other productive activities. It will also help restore essential ser­vices by rehabilitating damaged community infrastructure and facil­ities such as water supply, irrigation, roads, and community facilities.

“Balochistan is particularly vul­nerable to natural disasters due to its geographical location, so­cioeconomic background, and cli­mate change,” said Yoro Sidibe, Se­nior Water Specialist at the World Bank. “This project will help provide economic opportunities to the af­fected communities while ensuring social inclusion and participation. It will also strengthen institutional ca­pacity in terms of preparedness and response to future disasters.”

The project will benefit approxi­mately 2.7 million people in selected communities in calamity-declared districts across Balochistan. It will mitigate flood risks through a com­bination of resilient protection in­frastructure, enhancing early warn­ing systems, while ensuring that women have access to this system and disaster risk management infor­mation. IFRAP will restore degraded watersheds and strengthen institu­tional capacity at both the provincial and local level.

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