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World Bank suspends Balochistan Integrated Water Resource Management and Development Project

The World Bank has suspended work on the Balochistan Integrated Water Resource Management and Development project in Pakistan.

Announcing the suspension, the Bank commented:

“Sustainable water management is a priority for Balochistan and the World Bank is strongly committed to working with its government to develop this critical resource for the people of the province.”

“This was the objective when the Balochistan Integrated Water Resource Management and Development Project was signed three years ago.”

“Unfortunately, there has since then been a lack of progress in managing the project, disbursing funds, proceeding with the civil works, and fiduciary control.”

As a result, the World Bank has now suspended the project and offered to work with the Government of Balochistan over the next thirty days to restructure the scope and governance arrangements to more realistically begin to deliver sustainable water management to the province.

Over 40,000 farmer households had been set to benefit from improved water management in Balochistan.  The project was intended to support investments in two of the eighteen basins in Balochistan – Nari and Porali river basins. These river basins were selected based on an assessment of surface water resources development opportunities.

The Bank said it will continue to work with the Government on successfully implementing the wider program of support for the province. The World Bank currently has commitments of more than $250 million in Balochistan, with the main investments in education, health, governance and water. The overall World Bank portfolio in Pakistan has 40 projects with a commitment of $7.42 billion including investments of over $3 billion in water management, hydropower and irrigated agriculture.

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