World Bank okays $114m to support Fata’s militancy-hit families


ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has approved $114 million to expand support for families affected by militancy-related violence, improve child healthcare and establish systems for emergency response safety net delivery in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

Starting from 2015, reports from the government indicated that the military operation restored the state’s writ and many areas were declared safe for repatriation of displaced people. However, reconstruction and establishment of public service delivery institutions would require time and effort, according to the reports.

The Fata reforms committee recently recommended the integration of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over a transition period of five years with focus on rehabilitation and reconstruction, land settlement, socio-economic development, local government, judicial, legal and police reforms.

Around 326,000 eligible temporarily displaced families will benefit from the funding

The World Bank had approved a $75m credit for the original Fata temporarily displaced persons (TDP) emergency recovery project in August 2015. Beneficiaries of the project are the families from five Fata regions — North Waziristan, South Waziristan, Orakzai, Kurram and Khyber.

On Friday, the World Bank announced that the additional financing would help expand the support to 326,000 eligible temporarily displaced families, up from 120,000 under the original project. It would raise the number of participating families with children under two years of age to 300,000 from 64,000 families benefiting from the child wellness grant under the original project.

The new financing from the International Development Association (IDA) would expand the child health services to all 15 one-stop shops in the Fata agencies.

“Displaced people in fragile or conflict situations need livelihood support when they leave their homes, and upon their return as well,” said Illango Patchamuthu, the World Bank country director for Pakistan. “The additional financing will ensure that the returning families have the means to start their lives anew,” he added.

The early recovery package consists of two cash grants — a one-time early recovery grant of Rs35,000 per family, and a livelihood support grant of Rs16,000 per family in four monthly instalments of Rs4,000 each.

The child wellness grant offered to both TDP and non-TDP families would be provided in three equal instalments of Rs2,500 each, conditional on families attending periodic health awareness sessions on nutrition, hygiene and immunisation.

“Despite many constraints, including the security challenges in Fata, successful implementation of the project has presented an opportunity to significantly increase the number of people benefiting from the project,” said Amjad Zafar Khan, World Bank task team leader of the project.









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