WASHINGTON: The World Bank has approved $1.692 billion in financing for five projects to support people living in the flood-affected areas of the southeastern Sindh province of Pakistan.
Three projects support rehabilitation and housing reconstruction and the restoration of crop production for vulnerable communities, while another two projects support health services for mothers and children, the WB said in a press release.
“Sindh was the province worst affected by the 2022 floods. There was huge damage to the housing, health, and agriculture sectors and people lost their livelihoods. Beyond the rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged houses and infrastructure, our engagement in the flood response effort is an opportunity to strengthen resilience, and reform institutions and governance structures”, said Najy Benhassine, WB Country Director for Pakistan.
Sindh Flood Emergency Rehabilitation Project
The Sindh Flood Emergency Rehabilitation Project ($500 million) will help rehabilitate damaged infrastructure, provide short-term livelihood opportunities, and strengthen the government’s capacity to respond to disasters. The project will help restore and improve critical irrigation and flood protection infrastructure, water supply schemes, roads, and related infrastructure. At least 2 million people—approximately 50 per cent of whom are women—in the most flood-affected districts will benefit from the restoration and the resilient reconstruction of critical infrastructure. A community-level cash-for-work program will provide short-term income support to approximately 100,000 households. This will include semi-skilled and unskilled labour and will support livestock restocking for affected smallholder livestock farmers.
Sindh Floods Emergency Housing Reconstruction Project
The Sindh Floods Emergency Housing Reconstruction Project ($500 million) will support owner-driven and multi-hazard resilient reconstruction of core housing units. A housing subsidy will provide reconstruction and restoration grants for 350,000 housing units (almost 20 per cent of the total housing rehabilitation needs for Sindh). Cash grants will be provided for houses with structural damage to partially finance reconstruction or restoration. In addition, basic rainwater harvesting systems and twin pit latrines will be provided to improve access to water and sanitation.
Sindh Water and Agriculture Transformation Project
The Sindh Water and Agriculture Transformation Project ($292 million) will increase agricultural water productivity, improve integrated water resources management, and restore crop production by flood-affected farmers. More than 385,000 households (approximately 1.9 million people) are expected to benefit from the project. As an immediate response to the floods, the project will provide cash transfers to approximately 300,000 flood-affected farming households to help restore crop production through the purchase of seeds, fertilizer, and other critical inputs. In the medium term around 70,000 households will benefit from improved irrigation services and agricultural support that will help boost farming income. An estimated 14,000 households will receive direct financial benefits from the pilot smart subsidy schemes targeting small- and medium-sized farmers.
Sindh Strengthening Social Protection Delivery System Project
The Sindh Strengthening Social Protection Delivery System Project ($200 million) will strengthen the provincial social protection delivery system and enhance access to and utilization of maternal and child health services. The project supports alignment and connectivity with the Federal National Database Registration Authority and will provide conditional cash transfers (CCTs) to 1.3 million mothers and their children to support improved maternal and child health outcomes, particularly in the wake of service disruption after the floods. The CCTs will be available to the bottom 15 districts of Sindh, selected on the basis of the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), and cover 65 per cent of the total flood-affected areas in the province to help mitigate flood impacts, particularly food insecurity, and enable continued use of maternal and children health services.