The World Bank, Pakistan is helping the Federal and Provincial Governments in implementing various reform programs aimed at encouraging growth, investment, and employment generation. Reforms at the provincial level are specifically aimed at improving delivery of social services like education, health, clean drinking water, and sanitation. These efforts have yielded impressive results in many areas:
• Investing in Education: The Bank supports government programs to improve access to education that focus explicitly on the achievement of results. Between 2004 and 2011, IDA extended over $1.1 billion to support increased investment and reform in the education sector in the two largest provinces in Pakistan: Punjab and Sindh. These efforts, including reforms in teacher recruitment and payment of stipends for girls’ attendance, have started to translate into increased enrollment rates. For example, overall net primary school enrollment in Punjab increased from 45 percent in 2001 to 62 percent in 2008. Female primary enrollment went up from 43 percent to 60 percent.
Similar enrollment results have been achieved in Sindh. Other achievements in Sindh include merit-based recruitment of around 13,000 teachers and 300 new private coeducational primary schools in underserved rural communities which are supported by public cash subsidies of $4–6 per student per month conditional on free schooling and stipulated school quality standards. These schools have over 26,000 students and evidence suggests that the school participation rate has increased from 30 percent to 80 percent in these communities, and that gender disparity in school participation has been eliminated.
• Responding to natural disasters: Over the course of the monsoon season in July and August 2010, Pakistan experienced the worst floods in its history. The floods affected 78 districts and nearly 10 percent of Pakistan’s population over a vast geographical area. The Bank has provided strong support for floods recovery, consisting of $300 million in critical import financing, $20 million for highways rehabilitation, and $125 million to finance cash transfers to around 1.4 million flood affected families.
The Bank also provided support to the Government of Pakistan after the earthquake of October 8, 2005. The earthquake left 2.8 million homeless, and 570,000 houses damaged, with 90% requiring total replacement. The Bank provided $400 million for earthquake reconstruction out of which $220 million was for housing reconstruction. 96% (335,000 houses) of the 350,000 houses have been completed under Rural Housing and Reconstruction Program and have also been certified.
• Protecting the poorest: In social protection, the Bank has helped the government in establishing the social safety net systems. The Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) is the country’s national safety net program and the Bank’s support focuses on increasing its targeting efficiency and strengthening its operation. This cash transfer program offers a monthly payment of Rs. 1,000 to qualifying households. In 2011 it is expected to cover about 7 million households or about one quarter of Pakistan’s total population.
• Operating in conflict areas: The conflict in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) led to one of the worst security crises in Pakistan’s history, displacing millions of people and severely disrupting lives, livelihoods, and the provision of public services. The Bank is now administering the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) for KP, FATA and Balochistan, which supports the implementation of a program for reconstruction and development aimed at facilitating the recovery from the impact of the armed conflict and reducing the potential for escalation or resumption. Ten donors have contributed a total of $140 million for the MTDF.
• Supporting rural livelihoods: The Bank has supported Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) since 2000 and during this time, the program has facilitated the formation of 80,000 community organizations and provided 1.9 million micro-credit loans, 16,000 community infrastructure schemes, and training support for 232,000 people in enterprise development skills.
The World Bank is also assisting the Government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK)* in implementing a program to restore vital economic and social infrastructure damaged and/or destroyed by the October 2005 earthquake by financing reconstruction of 201 primary schools, 35 other buildings including government offices, police stations, and vocational training institutes, and 24 rural roads. 190 sub projects including 24 rural roads and 166 buildings are complete. Work on 50 sites is above 80% completed, on 13 sites it is more than 60 % and on remaining seven sites it is about 50% complete.
• Connecting the Poorest: The Bank is working to address Pakistan’s vast urban and rural infrastructure deficits, often cited as the greatest constraint to sustained, rapid growth. Through its ongoing US$ 495.0 million Highways Rehabilitation Project, the Bank is helping Pakistan to improve its road network. Major achievements include:
- Road networks in poor condition reduced from 49% to 39.5%
- Network-level ride quality (measurement of how bumpy or smooth the road is) improved by 15%
- Travel time between Karachi and Peshawar reduced from 47 hours to 42 hours
- Fatalities on Grand Trunk Road decreased from 107 to 60 per km.