QUETTA - The World Bank (WB) has approved financial assistance amounting to US$213 million to mitigate the sufferings of the flood victims communities of Balochistan province under the Integrated Flood Resilience and Adaptation Project (IFRAP). The assistance is in line with programme agreed with Pakistan to respond to the devastating floods that hit the country last summer and build a climate-resilient Pakistan aims at improving livelihoods, essential services and enhancing risk protection in communities affected by the 2022 floods. “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,” WB Country Director for Pakistan Najy Benhassine said in a news release here on Friday. He said the assistance would 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 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. The assistance would 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,” WB’s Senior Water Specialist Yoro Sidibe said. The project would 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 would 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,” the WB officials said adding the IFRAP would help restore degraded watersheds and strengthen institutional capacity at both the provincial and local level.