World Bank approves $213m for flood-affected communities of Balochistan

1685091810 World Bank approves 213m for flood affected communities of Balochistan
An undated image of World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC. — AFP
An undated image of World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC. — AFP

The World Bank has approved $213 million to help improve the livelihoods of communities affected by the 2022 floods in Balochistan, Pakistan. The funding will be used to enhance risk protection and essential services in the region. Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan, stated that the Bank would work closely with the Balochistan Government to provide livelihood support and reinstate irrigation and flood protection infrastructures. This would aid in restoring livelihoods and enhancing resilience against potential future climate-related disasters and natural hazards.

The Integrated Flood Resilience and Adaptation Project (IFRAP), as stated by the global lender, will give housing reconstruction grants to an estimated 35,100 homeowners to rebuild their homes sustainably. Livelihood grants will also be offered to smallholder farmers to support productive activities and promote climate-smart agriculture. In addition, the funding will further aid the restoration of essential services by renewing damaged infrastructure and facilities, such as water supply, irrigation, roads, and community facilities.

The project, benefiting about 2.7 million people in selected communities across Balochistan, aims to mitigate flood risks by using resilient protection infrastructure while enhancing early warning systems. This will ensure that women have access to this system and disaster risk management information. Yoro Sidibe, Senior Water Specialist at the World Bank, stated that the project would provide economic opportunities to the vulnerable communities. It would also establish institutional readiness and response to future disasters by strengthening institutional capacity at both the provincial and local level.

Given Balochistan’s geographical location, socioeconomic background, and climate change concerns, it is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. Therefore, the IFRAP’s implementation will have positive effects in the long run, particularly by rehabilitating degraded watersheds and ensuring social inclusion as well as participation across impacted communities.