Islamabad, March 30, 2017 (PPI-OT):Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar has welcomed the agreements worth US$ 432.7 million signed with the World Bank on Thursday, saying these would support Financial Sector, Social Protection, Community and SME Development, Livelihood and Community Infrastructure and Services.
Mr. Tariq Mahmood Pasha, Secretary, Economic Affairs Division signed the Loans and Grants Agreements on behalf of Government of Pakistan while Project Agreements were signed by the representatives of Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA Secretariat. Mr. Anthony Cholst, Acting Country Director signed the agreements on behalf of the World Bank.
The Finance Minister appreciated World Bank’s support for government’s endeavours to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic development of the country. He said the government has taken a number of measures in line with its 4-Es manifesto that envisioned development of Economy, Energy, Education and fight against Extremism. He particularly mentioned series of reforms undertaken by the Government to improve macroeconomic stability and putting the economy on a higher growth trajectory.
Mr. Anthony Cholst stated that the agreements would strengthen the financial sector, bring about improvement in the Income Support Program and also contribute to economic development in different areas in the KP and FATA. As per agreements signed, US$ 301.6 Million are earmarked for meeting the development objectives of ‘Growth Development Policy Financing’. The objectives will be achieved through improving access to finance, fostering long-term finance and enhancing transparency of the financial sector.
Social Safety Net (BISP) has been provide US$100 million under the agreements with the objective to strengthen the social safety net systems for the poor to enhance their human capital and access to complementary services. The program will support three elements of Pakistan’s Income Support System (i) the Basic Cash Transfer Program, delivered by the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP); (ii) the Waseela-e-Taleem (WeT) program to incentivize primary school enrolment of BISP beneficiary families’ children; and (iii) facilitation support to improve BISP beneficiaries’ access to complementary services.
Under MDTF grant agreements worth US$ 31.1 million for KP/FATA and Baluchistan, the following projects will be delivered:
i) Rural Livelihood and Community Infrastructure Project (RLCIP) US$ 8.1 million: The project aims to improve livelihood and access to basic service infrastructure in selected agencies in FATA and to support Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) in the process of rehabilitation as they return back to their homes.
ii) Economic Revitalization for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA (ERKF) Project US$ 19.0 million: The objective of the Project is to support the government in the economic recovery and revitalization of the crisis affected areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA by creating sustainable employment opportunities through rehabilitation of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), generating private sector investment, and laying the foundations for the future development of selected economic sectors.
iii) Southern Areas Development Project for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa US$ 4.0 million: The project aims to reach the un-served and underserved communities including women, youth and ultra-poor in the three Southern Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, support them by investing in community development, community driven investment, strengthening local groups, improving access to social and productive infrastructure and providing context-based livelihood opportunities.
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