ISLAMABAD: The World Bank is committing $728 million through four projects that intend to put Pakistan on the path of climate resilient development which will benefit millions of its citizens.
These projects will protect the environment and improve the quality of life in cities while being engines of growth and promoting sustainable water management through efficient irrigation, robust weather forecasting and improved disaster preparedness.
“The projects offer wide-ranging support to address climate vulnerability and variability by strengthening institutions and systems, besides investing in priority infrastructure in rural and urban areas,” said Illango Patchamuthu, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.
“Millions of Pakistanis will benefit from improved irrigation, weather services, and resilience to natural disasters. At the same time, cities of Punjab will benefit from investments to improve infrastructure and local services while protecting its environment”, he further said in a statement here on Saturday.
The $188 million Pakistan Hydromet and Disaster Risk Management Services Project (PHDSP) will help deliver more reliable and timely weather forecasting, as well as, disaster risk management services.
Pakistan suffered US$18 billion losses between 2005 and 2014 (US$10.5 billion from the 2010 floods alone) due to the adverse impact of climate change. This project will help improve water management for agriculture and increase resilience to natural disasters and climate change.
Moreover, the Sindh Barrages Improvement Project (SBIP) will benefit from $140 million in additional financing to help improve the reliability and safety of Guddu and Sukkur barrages. The project will also strengthen the Sindh Irrigation Department’s ability to operate and manage them while ensuring the barrage’s capacity to safely pass floods up to 1.3 million cusecs.
In addition, the rehabilitation and modernisation of Sukkur Barrage will provide reliable water supply to 14 canals and reduce floods. All this will be achieved under the oversight of a newly-established Barrage Monitoring Unit (BMU).
The $200 million Punjab Green Development Programme (PGDP) will strengthen the province’s environmental management through the empowerment of its departments to provide better environmental services to citizens, especially focusing on strengthening the capacity of the Environment Protection Department.
It will help modernise laws and regulations and promote investments in cleaner technologies to reduce air and water pollution.
The $200 million Punjab Cities Programme (PCP) will benefit 4.1 million people in 16 urban areas by strengthening the local governments’ ability to deliver basic but greener infrastructure.
The programme will also build systems to improve transparency, accountability, and responsiveness of municipal committees and other structures.