WB signs financing agreements for Punjab & KP

By Staff Reporter
Tuesday – May 19, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The economic affairs (EA) minister Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, witnessed the signing ceremony of two agreements, with the world bank (WB) to support projects in agriculture and social sectors, Monday.

According to an official statement, EA ministry secretary Noor Ahmed, signed the financing agreements on behalf of the government of Pakistan (GoP), while representatives of the governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) signed their respective project agreements online.

The WB country director Patchamuthu Illangovan signed the projects agreements on behalf of the WB.

Supporting human capital accumulation in Punjab by early investment project–$200.0 million: the objective of the project is to increase the utilisation of quality health services, and economic and social inclusion programmes among poor and vulnerable households in the select districts in Punjab province.

The total approved cost of the project is $330 million (m) including WB financing of $200m.

The project will strengthen the quality of primary healthcare services; introduce a conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme; support economic inclusion for young parent; strengthen the quality of early childhood education (ECE) and lower primary education; and increase the efficiency and sustainability of Punjab’s pro-poor initiatives.

The project will address gaps in human endowments by promoting skilled birth attendance, immunisation, school enrolment for early education and addressing constraints for income generating activities and diversification of income sources.

The project will target the 11 (out of 36) most vulnerable districts of Punjab.

Among the 11 districts, 8 districts are from south Punjab, where poor households are concentrated.

KP irrigated agriculture improvement project-$171m: the objective of the project is to improve the performance of irrigated agriculture for farmers in KP province.

The total cost of the project is $219.3m.

The WB will finance $171m and the remaining cost will be borne by the government (govt) of KP.

The development objective of the project will be achieved through multiple aspects of performance: improving the performance of on-farm water management by rehabilitating watercourses, introducing advanced irrigation technologies, and strengthening the capacity of communities, farmers and the on-farm water management directorate; and improving the performance of agriculture by raising productivity and prospects for value addition by strengthening farmers’ capacity and filling existing knowledge gaps regarding priority agriculture value chains.

The project will cover all districts and tehsils of KP, as well as the newly merged federally administered tribal areas (FATA) areas.

EA minister Bakhtyar thanked the WB for extending continuous support to the GoP in its efforts to achieve sustainable economic development in the country.

WB country director Illangovan appreciated the commitment of GoP to develop the underprivileged areas of the country and betterment of health and education sectors and reaffirmed that, his organisation will continue to cooperate with Pakistan for sustainable economic growth and development projects.