The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a $112 million investment to improve water and transport services in the country’s industrial hub, Karachi.
AIIB Vice President Luky Eko Wuryanto and AIIB Chief Programming Officer Konstantin Limitovskiy led a delegation to attend the AIIB-Pakistan business forum. They also held a meeting with Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar.
The approved investment includes $71.81 million for Karachi bus rapid transit (BRT) and $40 million to improve the city’s water and sewage services. AIIB’s total investment in the country has reached $512 million with the bank approving four projects in key economic sectors in Pakistan.
Residents across Karachi will have better access to basic services following recent investments by the AIIB to improve the city’s transport and water services.
AIIB’s spokesperson said the forum is an opportunity to engage various stakeholders in dialogue about the bank’s operations and opportunities for partnership and expanding its investment portfolio in the country.
AIIB’s most recent projects approved for Pakistan will help provide greater access to basic services for residents of Karachi.
The project will provide an efficient and sustainable public transport system to Karachi. The BRT project includes the construction of the Karachi red line BRT corridor and associated facilities, as well as the establishment of BRT operations. “An estimated 1.5 million people living within a one-kilometer radius from the BRT corridor and off-corridor services will directly benefit once the project is completed,” AIIB said in a statement.
The city’s air quality is also expected to improve, and greenhouse gas emissions reduced as passengers switch from private cars and motorcycles to the new BRT system.
The latest investment in the megacity comes on the heels of a $40-million loan approved by the bank’s board of directors in October to improve water services in the city. The loan is geared towards upgrading the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board’s (KWSB) efficiency and sustainability.
Once fully operational, an estimated two million residents will benefit from better customer service and reduced water losses.
KWSB provides Karachi 650 million gallons of water per day, covering only half of the city’s needs. Due to inadequate water availability, rationing and leakages are widespread.
Key components of the water and sewerage services improvement project include strengthening KWSB’s technical and managerial capacity and operational performance, rehabilitating existing infrastructure and supporting contract management.
The project will pay special attention to ensure women and children benefit from improved services.