Sindh secures $92 million assistance from World Bank | The Express Tribune



KARACHI:

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presented the case of Sindh relating to the devastation caused by flood in his meeting with the World Bank Country Director Najy Behhassine.

The chief minister was successful in getting approval for $92 million in assistance, while the sum will be diverted from different projects of the bank for relief and rehabilitation of the affected people. 

He also presented a case for the rehabilitation of the irrigation and drainage network, which would cost around $1,000 million for which the World Bank team will assess the damages and present the case to the board for approval. 

The meeting was attended by the Sindh govt, Administrator KMC Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi, Chairman SRB Asif Memon, and concerned secretaries. The World Bank team including Manager Operation Gailius Draugelis, Sector Leader Abdul Razak, Programme Leader Tobias, and Senior Specialist Ahsan Tehsin were present via video link.

On the occasion, CM Murad said that Sindh has received an unprecedented amount of rainfall in the monsoon season of July- August 2022. “The magnitude of it can be assessed from the fact that it has rained more than 308 per cent over and above the average rainfall in July and 784 per cent above the average rainfall in August.”

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He said that unfortunately, the current rainfalls have proved more destructive with a widespread impact on all the 30 districts of the province, which have been directly affected. “This unprecedented rainfall has not only caused the loss of life, but has damaged the properties, infrastructure including roads, livestock, and agriculture crops at an enormous scale,” he added.

He said that the damage is still ongoing.

The chief minister said that the preliminary estimates suggested a loss of more than Rs860 billion to the province. He added that it was believed that the actual losses were much more than the initial estimates, which will be revealed after a comprehensive and systematic survey of damages in the entire province.

He said that over 1.5 million houses, 11,734 animals, and 3,171,726 acres of crops have been damaged completely. He further said that his government was in dire need of funds to rescue, revive and rehabilitate the devastated sectors.

CM Murad also proposed that $57 million may be reappropriated from World Bank-funded projects, including $27 million from CLICK, $8 million from agriculture projects, and Rs22 billion from PDMA.

He went on to say that another $35 million, including $25 million from KWSSIP and $10 million from the Select (Education) project could be re-appropriated for rehabilitation works. 

The World Bank country director agreed to the proposal of the chief minister and said that the bank would reappropriate the amount and issue the advice shortly.

While briefing the meeting on the damages caused to houses, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi said that 1.5 million houses would be reconstructed to rehabilitate the people who lost their houses. The chief minister said that with the reconstruction of 1.5 million houses employment opportunities would be generated.

A representative of the World Bank said that climate-friendly technologies would be adopted to minimise climate risk. He suggested flood-resistant housing solutions, based on a standard core unit for which training of artisans and beneficiaries would be imparted.

The chief minister said that at least $500 million were required to reconstruct the collapsed houses. At this, Najy Behhassine said that the bank would assess the damaged houses, and then put up their recommendations along with the provincial government’s request in their board meeting for approval. 

CM Murad also said that his government was keen to revive the agriculture sector for which he needed $500 million to rehabilitate the irrigation and drainage system.

The World Bank Country head said that the revival of the agriculture sector was important for the provincial economy. He assured the chief minister that his team would assess the damages and put up the provincial government case on their board for approval.





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