- WB says Sindh was the worst-affected province by floods.
- Two projects worth $500 million and another is worth $292 million.
- Two projects of $200 million also approved.
ISLAMABAD: The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on Tuesday approved $1.692 billion in financing for five projects in the flood-hit province of Sindh, announced the global lender in a statement.
Out of the five, three projects support rehabilitation and housing reconstruction and the restoration of crop production for vulnerable communities. Out of the three, two projects are worth $500 million and another is worth $292 million.
While the other two projects support health services for mothers and children. Both projects are worth $200 million.
“Sindh was the province worst affected by the 2022 floods. There were huge damages to the housing, health, and agriculture sectors and people lost their livelihoods. Beyond the rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged houses and infrastructure, our engagement in the flood response effort is an opportunity to strengthen resilience, and reform institutions and governance structures”, said World Bank Country Director for Pakistan Najy Benhassine.
The $500 million “Sindh Flood Emergency Rehabilitation Project” will focus on providing short-term livelihood opportunities and strengthen the provincial government’s capacity to respond to disasters.
“The project will help restore and improve critical irrigation and flood protection infrastructure, water supply schemes, roads, and related infrastructure,” said the global lender in the statement. It has forecast that close to 2 million people, out of which 50% are women, will benefit from the restoration and resilient reconstruction of critical infrastructure.
A community-level cash-for-work program will provide short-term income support to approximately 100,000 households.
On the other hand, the $500 million “Sindh Floods Emergency Housing Reconstruction Project” will support owner-driven and multi-hazard resilient reconstruction of core housing units.
Meanwhile, the $292 million approved for the “Sindh Water and Agriculture Transformation Project” will increase agricultural water productivity, improve integrated water resources management, and restore crop production by flood-affected farmers.
“More than 885,000 households (approximately 4.4 million people) are expected to benefit from the project. As an immediate response to the floods, the project will provide cash transfers to 800,000 flood-affected farming households to help restore crop production through the purchase of seeds, fertilizer, and other critical inputs,” the WB said.
The lender has also approved $200 million for the “Sindh Strengthening Social Protection Delivery System Project” that will strengthen the provincial social protection delivery system and enhance access to and utilization of mother and child health services.
Another $200 million was also approved for the “Sindh Integrated Health and Population Project” to improve both the quality and utilisation of basic reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition services.
“It will also help in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of health infrastructure that was damaged in the floods, disrupting the delivery of these services. The project will improve access to quality healthcare services for, the population of the selected government dispensaries in remote and peri-urban areas especially women, girls, and children, and in the flood-affected settlements in Sindh,” said the lender.
PKR on track to become top-performing currency this month: Bloomberg
- Pakistani currency rose around 6% this month against dollar.
- Authorities curb leakages happening through illegal channels.
- Crackdown on illegal dollar traders helps local currency.
The Pakistani rupee is on track to become the top performer globally in September as the caretaker government continues its crackdown on illegal dollar trade, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
The local currency rose around 6% this month against the dollar — an amazing feat despite the Thai baht and South Korean won tumbling against the greenback.
Major currencies lost ground against the dollar on speculations that the US interest rates will stay elevated for longer.
The rupee increased 0.1% to 287.95 per dollar on Thursday, after sliding to a record low of about 307 this month. Pakistan’s currency market will remain closed for the Eid Miladun Nabi holiday on Friday.
“Many leakages were happening through illegal channels of hawala and hundi trade from the open market,” Khurram Schehzad, chief executive officer of Alpha Beta Core Solutions Pvt Ltd, told Bloomberg.
“When the dollar rate reverses everybody, the hoarders, the exporters who are holding their export proceeds, start selling their dollars,” Schehzad said.
The interim rulers have intensified efforts by launching a crackdown on people involved in the illegal dollar trade, allowing the currency to gain some lost ground.
The Federal Investigation Agency, Bloomberg reported, conducted raids across the country and security officials in plainclothes were deployed at money exchanges to monitor dollar sales as part of the crackdown.
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar this week said the rupee’s gain is “fostering optimism for stability.”
For its part, the State Bank of Pakistan raised the capital requirements of smaller exchange companies and ordered large banks to open their own exchange companies to make the retail foreign exchange market more transparent and easier to monitor.
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inDrive now available in five more Pakistani cities
KARACHI: inDrive, a popular ride-hailing service in Pakistan, has now expanded its network to five more cities across Pakistan including Larkana, Kāmoke, Sheikhupura, Hafizabad, and Okara.
In a statement issued by the transport company, the inclusion of these cities reflects inDrive’s dedication to bringing innovative transportation options to both urban centres and suburban areas.
Speaking about the expansion, Senior Business Representative at inDrive Hasan Qureshi said: “We are excited to extend the convenience and reliability of inDrive to residents of Larkana, Kāmoke, Sheikhupura, Hafizabad, and Okara.”
“Our mission is to redefine transportation by providing safe, affordable, and accessible rides to everyone. With this expansion, we are not only enhancing the commuting experience but also contributing to the economic growth and empowerment of these communities.”
PR Manager Sidra Kiran said that their new service offers city residents the convenience of accessing transport from their homes, eliminating the need to search for it.
“Both drivers and passengers stand to gain significant benefits, including time-saving and the elimination of challenges associated with street hailing. This service addresses issues such as locating rides during odd hours like early mornings or late nights,” she stated.
She further added: “inDrive ride-hailing presents numerous benefits to drivers in small cities, including flexible opportunities, reduced unemployment, supplemental income, enhanced community connection, and positive contributions to the local economy.”
The launch of the company in these cities would benefit both riders and driver-partners.
inDrive further said that it remains committed to upholding the highest standards of safety, affordability, customer service, and technological innovation.
inDrive is Pakistan’s premier ride-hailing service and is revolutionising the way people travel. With a commitment to providing safe, affordable, and reliable transportation.
The company allowed riders to connect with nearby drivers with its app.
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