WB announces $300 mn for Pakistan's natural disasters, health sectors

WB announces $300 mn for Pakistan’s natural disasters, health sectors

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Islamabad: The World Bank’s Executive Board on Wednesday approved US$300 million in financing for two projects in Pakistan: the Sindh Resistance Project and the Solid Waste Emergency and Efficiency Project.

These investments will strengthen Pakistan’s efforts to withstand natural disasters such as floods and droughts in Sindh, and will strengthen Karachi’s solid waste management in response to frequent urban floods and public health emergencies in the city.

“Building resilience to natural disasters and health emergencies is an important and urgent agenda in Pakistan, that will help save lives and protect the economy,” said Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan in a statement.

“The debilitating impact of recent floods in Karachi, droughts and extreme rainfall in Sindh, and of course the COVID-19 pandemic, make it imperative that risk reduction investments strengthen multi-sectoral dialogue and coordination at the city, provincial, and national levels to ensure protections for vulnerable communities and fight the spread of disease.”

The additional funding for the Sindh Resistance Project of US$200 million will help the government better manage climate and disaster risks, including floods, droughts and public health emergencies.

The project will strengthen disaster preparedness and emergency response capabilities through the establishment of the Sindh Emergency Affairs Office, including health crises such as COVID-19, thereby strengthening the link between disaster risk management and the health sector.

The project also improves irrigation infrastructure to protect vulnerable communities living in rural areas, which will directly benefit 750,000 citizens in drought-prone areas of Kirthar range hills and the Nagarparkar region in the Tharparkar District.

The US$100 million Solid Waste Emergency and Efficiency Project (SWEEP) will improve solid waste management services in Karachi – Pakistan’s largest city of more than 16 million people – and upgrade critical solid waste infrastructure to reduce urban flooding and public health risks. 

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