The World Bank has greenlit a significant financing injection of $149.7 million for Pakistan, earmarked for two pivotal projects aimed at fostering resilience and advancing digitalization in the country. Out of this sum, $78 million has been allocated to the Digital Economy Enhancement Project, geared towards bolstering digitally-enabled public services.

Additionally, the Sindh Barrages Improvement Project secures $71.7 million to fortify flood resilience measures and enhance barrage management across the region.

Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan, underlines the imperative of fortifying resilience against natural calamities, emphasizing the dire need for such measures. He further stresses the pivotal role of supporting Pakistan’s burgeoning digital economy, identifying it as integral to the nation’s overall economic and social progress.

“The catastrophic floods that hit Pakistan in 2022 were a tragic reminder of the importance to build resilience to such disasters, including by strengthening barrages and their management,”

“Also, supporting the growing digital economy in Pakistan is key for economic and social development, broadening connectivity and access to government and financial services for citizens and entrepreneurs, particularly women.”

The Digital Economy Enhancement Project sets out to cultivate digital authentication and data-sharing platforms, with the overarching goal of enabling Pakistan to respond more adeptly to unforeseen shocks while enhancing the delivery of e-government services. Notably, the project also seeks to promote financial inclusion, particularly among women, through the deployment of smartphone applications.

Shan Rehman, Task Team Leader for the project said,

“The digital economy and demand for digital government services have been growing across the country, increasing the need for connectivity, digital payments, and secure and trusted digital transactions. The project takes a whole-of-government approach to digital transformation and will help ensure that digital platforms are inclusive and trusted,”

On the other hand, the Sindh Barrages Improvement Project’s additional financing aims to expedite the completion of rehabilitation endeavors, specifically targeting the Guddu, Sukkur, and Kotri barrages in Sindh. Francois Onimus, Task Team Leader for the project, underscores the vital role of barrages in sustaining livelihoods and fortifying climate resilience in the region.

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