At least $213 million has been approved for Pakistan by the World Bank (WB) so that it can embark upon flood protection projects, particularly in areas like Balochistan. This is the need of the hour considering the impact of the 2022 floods are still being felt across the country, and there are predictions that more catastrophes are to come. The government must ensure that these funds are utilised responsibly, transparently and effectively so that millions of people can be shielded from the devastation caused by climate change disasters.
The Board of Executive Directors approved the $213 million for Pakistan after the two-day meeting of the International Partners Support Group (IPSG). The WB stated that it would work closely with the government of Balochistan to ensure that help reaches the communities affected the most. It wants to direct livelihood support, rehabilitation, and produce irrigation and flood protection infrastructures that will ensure that the extreme worst case scenario is avoided. The organisation is also working to install warning systems, as well as predictive models that will enlighten the authorities about incoming disasters. Should this project be concluded successfully, the authorities will have enough resources and facilities to prevent hazards, or enough to deal with the effects at least.
The onus of implementation and maintenance will be on the government. Far too often, we hear stories about exorbitant amounts of dollars being promised to Pakistan with the hopes that new infrastructure and projects will be built to enhance its resilience in the face of climate-change disasters. Unfortunately, we have seldom seen these projects being concluded successfully. The government must ensure that when it comes to such protective initiatives, it acts responsibly and diligently. Transparency is key, as is comprehensive planning and ensuring that work is actively being carried out. These projects must be completed, if not for the sake of international reputation then at least for the sake of the people who have been left at the mercy of their own devices.