ISLAMABAD: The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved $1.692 billion in financing for five projects to support people living in flood-affected areas of Sindh.

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.

“Sindh was the province worst-affected by the 2022 floods. There were huge damages 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 NajyBenhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.

The Sindh Flood Emergency Rehabilitation Project ($500 million) will help rehabilitate damaged infrastructure, provide short-term livelihood opportunities, and strengthen government 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, two 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 labor and will support livestock restocking for affected smallholder livestock farmers.

Project documents stated that roads and transport infrastructure have been severely damaged, impeding mobility, livelihoods, trade and commerce and access to health, education and other public services. The annual monsoon season worsens road conditions and frequent urban flooding submerges and washes away paved roads. About 60 per cent of the road network is in poor condition.

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.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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