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World Bank Flash: World Bank Helping Pakistan Weather Floods

Available in: العربية, Français, Español, ภาษาไทย

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16 August 2010

Background 

Pakistan’s deadly floods have now affected over 14 million people, according to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), with some estimates putting the figure considerably higher. The affected area covers 132,421 km, including 1.4 million acres of cropped land. Continuing rains have caused additional flooding and hindered relief activities. The scale of destruction exceeds that of the 2005 earthquake.

The economic cost is expected to be huge. Preliminary information indicates that direct damage from floods is greatest in the housing (current estimates are that 723,000 houses have either been destroyed or damaged), roads, irrigation and agriculture sectors. Crop loss is estimated at $1 billion. However, the full impact on soil erosion and agriculture can only be assessed when the water recedes, by mid-September.

How We’re Helping

The Government of Pakistan has requested around $900 million of financial support from the World Bank, which we have committed to provide

  • The funding will come from the Bank’s Fund for the Poorest (the International Development Association, IDA) through reprogramming of currently planned projects and reallocation of undisbursed funds from ongoing projects.
  • On August 11, the Government asked the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to undertake a Damages and Needs Assessment in the flood-hit areas, and the United Nations (UN) the Early Recovery Needs Assessment. The World Bank, ADB and UN will collaborate through participation and sharing of information on their respective assessments, and will also regularly coordinate with key donors.
  • The Bank and ADB have mobilized staff and a Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) rapid response team arrived in Islamabad on Friday, August 13 to help launch the assessment.
  • If there is no fresh wave of flooding, the assessment can be completed by October 15, 2010.
  • A grant of US$1.3 million has also been made available by the GFDRR to support the Damage Needs Assessment, rescue and relief efforts, and to strengthen disaster management and longer term disaster risk reduction.
  • We used some of this grant to purchase Rescue Boats, delivered to the government on Friday, August 13.
  • With the support of donors, we are also prepared to use the newly operational Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) for the northwest border region to finance recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation.
  • We are working with the Government to re-prioritize our planned projects and review ongoing projects for possible reallocation to reconstruction activities. Some immediate priorities we have agreed with the government are:
    • Reallocating $10 million of existing undisbursed funds to the National Disaster Management Agency providing fast-disbursing additional funds to retroactively finance imports needed for early recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation, such as fuel, steel, cement and related goods and services.
    • Accelerating delivery and expansion of a planned Emergency Operation for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP)/Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to include flood-affected districts.
    • Working with the government to help ensure that disaster funds are spent for their intended purpose.
  • The Bank financed the rehabilitation of the Taunsa Barrage (an artificial obstruction to reduce the risks of tidal flooding) in Punjab Province, which may have helped this barrage withstand the unprecedented flood that came downriver over the past week.
  • Going forward, in addition to the needs assessment and subsequent assistance with long-term reconstruction, the Bank will be making other contributions to the repair and rehabilitation of critical infrastructure on the Indus River to help with future flood prevention.
    • The Bank's Board approved financing for the rehabilitation of the Jinnah Barrage on July 01, 2010.
    • The Bank is also financing the design consultancies for the rehabilitation of two other barrages in Sindh.

Contact:
Saskia Stegeman, (202) 473-4227, sstegeman@worldbank.org

About the World Bank "Flash" note:
The World Bank's News Bureau would like to introduce you to the World Bank "Flash" note. These notes contain background information and state the bank's position and our action plans on topical issues.


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