ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has approved $213 million to aid the recovery efforts from the devastating floods that struck Pakistan and destroyed houses, crops and public infrastructure in much of its southwestern Balochistan province, said an official statement released on Thursday night.
Unprecedented rains and floods wreaked havoc in Pakistan’s southern regions of Sindh and Balochistan, which accounted for most casualties out of more than 1,700 fatalities across the South Asian country. The deluges impacted 33 million Pakistanis and caused over $30 billion economic losses.
“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,” Najy Benhassine, the World Bank country director for Pakistan, was quoted in the statement.
He said the project aimed to restore livelihoods and enhance resilience to potential future climate-related disasters and natural hazards.
According to the details, the integrated flood resilience and adaptation project will provide housing reconstruction grants to approximately 35,100 homeowners, ensuring adherence to resilience standards.
Additionally, smallholder farmers will receive livelihood grants to support livestock, promote climate-smart agriculture, and engage in other productive activities.
The project will also focus on rehabilitating damaged community infrastructure such as water supply, irrigation, roads, and community facilities, thereby restoring essential services.
Highlighting the vulnerability of Balochistan to natural disasters, Yoro Sidibe, senior water specialist at the World Bank, emphasized the project’s aim to provide economic opportunities to affected communities while strengthening institutional capacity for disaster preparedness and response.
The project is set to benefit around 2.7 million people in selected communities across Balochistan, mitigating flood risks through resilient protection infrastructure and improved early warning systems.
The World Bank has been working with Pakistan since 1950 and provided a total assistance of $40 billion over the years. With 58 ongoing projects and a total commitment of $14.8 billion, the bank has been playing a vital role in Pakistan’s development and resilience-building endeavors.