Agreements worth US$305 million were signed with the World Bank on Friday to support projects in agriculture sector in Punjab and to improve the nutritional status of children as well as women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Strengthening Markets for Agriculture and Rural Transformation (SMART) in Punjab Program of US$300.0 million (Loan):
The SMART Punjab program is aimed to help the government of Punjab to promote transformational change in the crop and livestock sub-sectors by focusing on activities contributing to three Results Areas:
- Increased on-farm productivity and value of crops and livestock;
- increased value addition and competitiveness of crops and livestock;
- enhanced resilience of smallholder farmers to climate change and natural disasters.
Each Results Area involves a specific combination of policy reforms, institutional strengthening and public investments.
The following two sources of finance will support the activities under SMART-Punjab program:
- Government of Punjab – US$ 1,290.0 million
- World Bank (loan) – US$ 300.0 million
Additional Financing to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the Enhanced Nutrition for Mothers and Children Project of US$ 5.0 million (Grant):
The objective of the grant is to scale-up nutrition intervention in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to improve the nutritional status of children under two years of age, as well as pregnant and lactating women.
Arif Ahmed Khan, Secretary, Economic Affairs Division (EAD) signed the Loan and Grant Agreements on behalf of Government of Pakistan while representatives of Government of Punjab and Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa signed their respective project agreements. Patchamuthu Illangovan, Country Director, World Bank signed the Loan and Grant Agreements and the Project Agreements on behalf of World Bank.
The secretary, Economic Affairs Division (EAD) thanked the World Bank for extending its continuous support to the Government of Pakistan in its efforts to achieve sustainable economic development in the country, according to a press release.