What’s the situation on the ground in Sindh?
Home to 50.4 million people, Sindh is vital to Pakistan’s economy. The province generates 27% of Pakistan’s GDP. It also contributes significantly to Pakistan’s food security: An important producer of livestock products, Sindh’s livestock sector contributes 62% of national agriculture GDP. The agriculture sector accounts for 70% of employment in Sindh and is a critical source of incomes and livelihoods.
About 37 percent of the rural population in Sindh lives below the poverty line. Poverty rates are higher in flood-affected districts, which also experience some of the country’s highest stunting rates. The high prevalence of poverty, as much as 40-60 percent in certain districts, further exacerbates vulnerability and constrains opportunities. These areas also face inadequate health services, water and sanitation, schooling, and limited access to electricity.
The province is also particularly vulnerable to natural disaster events due to its geographical location, socioeconomic vulnerability, and climatic conditions.
How did the floods impact Sindh?
Sindh has been disproportionately affected by the 2022 floods, which significantly damaged houses, transport, agriculture, irrigation and communication infrastructure. Millions of people remain in need of assistance. According to the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment conducted by the World Bank and the UNDP under the leadership of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, with support from the Asian Development Bank, European Union and other UN Agencies, Sindh’s overall needs assessment for post-flood recovery and reconstruction stands at US$7.9 billion, which is the highest of all the provinces.
The agriculture and food sector has been devastated by the 2022 floods, driving up food prices, causing food shortages and disrupting jobs and livelihoods. More than 4.4 million acres of agriculture land have been destroyed. Irrigation and flood protection systems serving more than half a million farmers on 5.1 million hectares of farmland have been severely damaged. Floods have drowned animals and damaged infrastructure, adversely impacting the livestock sector. About 249,000 livestock —including cows and poultry—were lost, representing a value of US$ 117.3 million.
Roads and transport infrastructure have been severely damaged, impeding mobility, livelihoods, trade and commerce and access to health, education and other public services. The annual monsoon season worsens road conditions and frequent urban flooding submerges and washes away paved roads. About 60 percent of the road network is in poor condition.
What is the Sindh Flood Emergency Rehabilitation project and how will it help Sindh?
Sindh Flood Emergency Rehabilitation Project aims to rehabilitate infrastructure that was damaged by the 2022 floods and provide short-term livelihood opportunities to affected residents. In the long term, the project will build Sindh province’s capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change and natural disasters.
The project will rehabilitate damaged infrastructure adopting a build back better approach to make it more resilient to disaster and climate impacts. This includes repairing irrigation, drainage and flood protection infrastructure to restore agricultural production and make it more climate resilient. It will also support the reconstruction of road networks and support improvements to make the roads more climate-resilient and safer for pedestrians and commuters. The project will also fund the repair and upgrading of water supply and sanitation infrastructure damaged by the floods in selected districts. Water infrastructure will be upgraded to provide safe, treated water for residents and street drainage will be built for stormwater.
Through a cash-for-work program and other emergency support, the project will also support the livelihoods of affected communities. The cash for work program will give households in affected villages short-term opportunities to earn an income by participating in disaster cleanup and restoration of community level infrastructure. Emergency support will also help smallholder livestock farmers restock lost animals and improve the health of their existing animals.
Finally, the project will help make Sindh’s institutions more resilient and responsive in future disasters. The Sindh Emergency Rescue Services will be expanded to 9 additional districts, providing life-saving emergency response and rescue services to more communities. The project will also improve government capacity to plan, coordinate, and implement disaster management and disaster recovery activities.
Who will benefit from this project?
Households in the poorest districts that were also the most severely affected by the floods will benefit from this project. At least 2 million people—approximately 50 percent of them women—will benefit from the restoration and the resilient reconstruction of critical infrastructure. Approximately 100,000 households will receive short-term livelihoods support through the cash-for-work and livestock restoration program.