ISLAMABAD: In fiscal year 2023, Pakistan secured $2.3 billion in assistance from the International Development Association (IDA), according to the World Bank’s annual report.
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In order to build resilient housing, restore crop production, provide health services for mothers and children, and strengthen social protection and the local government’s disaster response capacity, the bank provided Pakistan with nearly $1.7 billion for five projects in the Sindh province that was most severely affected by the floods.
The “World Bank Annual Report 2023 — A New Era in Development” report notes that during the fiscal year 2023, the international organization approved $10.1 billion in lending for 37 operations in the South Asian region, including $4.3 billion in commitments from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and $5.8 billion from the International Development Association (IDA).
The largest international provider of concessional finance in the world, IDA provides the poorest nations with grants, loans, and guarantees for development. It attempts to promote economic development, lessen poverty, and improve living conditions for underprivileged communities.
WB claims Islamabad has received $2.3 billion in funding and has approved $10 billion for 37 operations in South Asia.
The study states that the World Bank further provided 61 advisory services and research items for eight nations. On topics like debt management, governance, job development, social protection, air pollution, and climate resilience, these offered expert guidance.
In order to lessen the impact of crises, the bank concentrated on improving human capital resilience throughout the region. To promote equitable and sustainable growth, this entailed fostering resilience in the economy, markets, and society as well as creating resilience against the effects of a changing climate and natural calamities.
Following an initial post-pandemic rebound of 8.2 percent in 2021, the analysis predicted that South Asia’s GDP will increase by 5.6% in 2023 and then somewhat at 5.9% in 2024. Due to the region’s worse economic prospects, less fiscal flexibility, and declining reserves, there are now significant downside risks in the majority of the region’s countries.
poverty in the area
With the number of people in the region estimated to be 754 million in 2023, smaller than the forecasts for 2019, the drop in poverty is anticipated to return in tandem with economic growth. Natural disasters and the effects of climate change are particularly dangerous for South Asia.
More than half of the population in the region, or 750 million people, have been impacted by climate-related disasters over the past two decades. Since the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged face the brunt of these calamities and have few resources to aid in their recovery, high inequality accentuates these effects.
Millions of adolescents and teenagers in South Asia experienced a collapse in their human capital as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The incomes of today’s toddlers could decrease by 25% when they reach adulthood, while the earnings of today’s students could be reduced by more than 14%. South Asia is dealing with heatwaves, cyclones, droughts, and floods that are getting worse. For up to 800 million people, the changing environment might significantly worsen living conditions.
A $200 million project is encouraging climate-smart technology and practises in Punjab, which produces 73 percent of all the food produced in Pakistan, in order to raise small-scale farmers’ incomes, increase water use efficiency, and create resilience to harsh weather.
Between April 2022 and June 2023, the World Bank approved 529 solo and regional operations totaling $104.9 billion across the four pillars of the framework, including $53.1 billion under the IBRD and $51.8 billion under IDA. These operations included more than 110 countries. $2 billion was allocated to minor states, and $23.7 billion was committed for fragile, violent, and conflict-ridden nations.
To address these issues and provide long-term development solutions, the World Bank collaborates closely with nations, the business sector, civil society, and other multilateral institutions. The World Bank has been responding to the convergent crises through the Global Crisis Response Framework at previously unheard-of levels, sanctioning 322 operations in more than 90 countries for a total of $72.8 billion in fiscal 2023. $38.6 billion of this comes from IBRD.
For the poorest nations during IDA20’s first year, the body committed $34.2 billion. The bank front-loaded financial resources in 2023, building on the momentum from 2022, to assist these countries in addressing the long-lasting effects of the Covid-19 issue. In fiscal 2023, the overall amount of climate money reached a record high of $29.4 billion, or 40% of all IBRD and IDA financing.