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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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IsDB in discussions to contribute to Sindh People’s Housing for Flood Affectees program

The IsDB and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) are exploring ways to contribute to the Sindh People’s Housing for Flood Affectees program, a joint initiative between the Sindh government and the World Bank, ISFI has learned.

“Discussions with the IsDB and ADB are underway, particularly for the Sindh People’s Housing Reconstruction Program,” a spokesperson shared with ISFI, citing the financial pledges the development banks made earlier this year during the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan in Geneva, Switzerland.

Under the program, US$2.08 billion will be dispersed for the reconstruction of two million homes in Sindh, the spokesperson shared. Further, US$34 will be released to each program beneficiary’s bank account under three tranches as part of a housing cash grant.

Prior to the disbursement of the cash assistance, the program will assist beneficiaries to open bank accounts, which may contribute to increasing banking penetration in the country.

To qualify as a beneficiary, a mobile-based damage assessment and verification survey will be conducted to categorize the level of damage of the housing unit and establish the land ownership status.

The assessment will also establish a list of eligible beneficiaries and vulnerable individuals or households who are unable to prove their identities or property ownership. These include households with disabled persons and households headed by women with high dependency ratios.

The program will also provide technical assistance in the form of the Skills Training Program for Communities and Artisans which addresses resilient construction practices for artisans as well as orientation for program beneficiaries.

Specialized training programs will also be introduced for masons to respond to the needs of disabled persons as well as to benefit persons with disabilities beyond the span of the project.

The establishment of the joint initiative took around four months to complete and has multiple implementing partners including the Thardeep Rural Development Programme, HANDS Pakistan, the Sindh Rural Support Organization, the National Rural Support Program and the SAFCO Support Foundation.

Earlier this year on the 9th January, the IsDB and the ADB pledged to channel US$4.2 billion and US$1 billion respectively to finance flood rehabilitation and reconstruction in Pakistan during the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan.

During the conference, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif presented the government’s Resilient Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Framework (4RF), seeking international support and partnerships for its implementation.

“I would like to assure you that we will spare no effort to contribute to the implementation of your resilience agenda,” Dr Muhammad Al Jasser, the president of the IsDB, told Shahbaz at the conference.

Notably, the 4RF was also developed in conjunction with international multilateral partners including the ADB, the EU, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank Group.

The housing initiative, as well as the 4RF, is a response to the devastating floods that began in June 2022, lasting several months and resulting in one-third of the country being submerged under water. The province of Sindh was the most severely impacted region in the country.

The Pakistani government has introduced several initiatives to combat the effects of the floods including the establishment of two funds under the State Bank of Pakistan to raise funds for those impacted by the disaster.

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