WB approves $213m for flood victims of Balochistan

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.

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