WASHINGTON, March 29, 2011 – The World Bank today approved a US$125 million credit for the Flood Emergency Cash Transfer Project, designed to support the Government of Pakistan’s Citizen’s Damage Compensation Program (CDCP) in providing cash transfers to more than 1 million flood-affected households. The project will also strengthen the management of the CDPC through effective grievance redressal mechanisms and establishing control and accountability measures to ensure efficient and transparent delivery of the support.
“The 2010 floods were a disaster of historic proportions that affected over 20 million people and created a massive recovery need,” said Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan. “Households faced with income shocks often adopt coping strategies that are not beneficial over time, including reducing assets and consumption, increasing borrowing, and taking children out of school to work. Therefore, cash assistance to flood-affected households is essential to mitigate the adverse effects of income shocks besides addressing the issue of poverty and vulnerability. Importantly, the project will also assist in developing necessary capacities and systems to effectively handle the similar disasters in the future.”
Launched in September 2010, the CDCP provided around 1.4 million families with cash grants of PRs. 20,000 (approximately US$230) to cover their immediate needs. The next phase, supported by this project, will provide an additional payment of PRs. 40,000 (approximately US$460) to around 1.1 million most affected households, thereby reaching between 7.5 and 8.3 million people to rebuild their lives. To meet the total financing requirements for the CDCP, the World Bank has worked closely with other development partners, some of which (USAID and Italy) have already committed funds.
“International evidence suggests that cash grants allow the recipients the flexibility of choosing where to put their resources based on their specific conditions and priorities.” said Iftikhar Malik, Co-Project Team Leader. “Beneficiaries are expected to use these additional grants to not only cover basic consumption but to also recapitalize assets as well as recover their livelihoods.”
The World Bank is well placed to support the Government of Pakistan in extending and strengthening the CDCP due to its substantial international and regional experience in protecting the affected and vulnerable through post-disaster cash transfer programs. In addition to this operation, the Bank has assisted the Government in its flood response through financing the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment and making available US$300 million for fast-disbursing financing of critical flood-related imports and US$20 million for highway reconstruction.
The credit is from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm. US$81 million of the credit carries a 0.75% service charge, 10 years of grace period and a maturity of 35 years. The remaining US$44 million has the same terms plus a fixed interest charge of 3.2%.