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The World Bank has pledged up to $1.7 billion in disaster aid.

The World Bank announced on Thursday that it would contribute up to $1.7 billion in flood-related assistance through current and new initiatives, as well as $22.2 million in financial assistance for flood-affected farmers.

Martin Raiser, Regional Vice President of the World Bank for South Asia, and John Roome, South Asia Regional Director for Sustainable Development, both stated that the severe floods had caused economic hardship for the afflicted people.

“The World Bank expects to give flood-related assistance of up to $ 1.7 billion through current and new projects,” Raiser said while speaking with Power Minister Engr Khurram Dastgir Khan, according to a news statement released here.

“This might take the form of strengthened social security programmes, additional emergency operations to aid with rehabilitation, and long-term resilience measures,” Raiser explained. He regarded Pakistan’s policy push toward renewables as a positive step.

Separately, John Roome met with Food Security Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema. He informed the minister that the bank would provide $22.2 million in financial assistance for flood-affected farmers through a tailored scheme.

“In this time of need, the World Bank will assist Pakistan through projects aimed at rehabilitating the impacted communities,” Roome informed the minister. “The bank is collaborating with provincial agriculture agencies to assist farmers.”

According to press releases, all parties agreed to help the farming community in flood-affected districts and locust-infested areas through the World Bank’s Locust Emergency and Food Security (LEAFS) programme.

Roome promised that he will ask the World Bank Group Board to provide aid to Pakistan in order to help it recover from the devastation caused by record floods. Cheema thanked the World Bank Group for its assistance, according to the press statement.

Cheema informed the group on the occasion that rains and floods had ravaged the agriculture sector and the farming community. “At this critical juncture, we are solely focused on rehabilitation work in flood-affected areas in order to restore normalcy,” he added.

Cheema stated that the National Food Security Ministry planned to subsidise inputs – seeds and fertiliser – for “the upcoming Rabi season on a cost-sharing basis” with the provinces in order to assist farmers in flood-affected areas.

“We want to supply farmers in disaster-affected areas with subsidised wheat and edible oil seeds, as well as one fertiliser bag per acre,” he added, adding that the funds would be distributed through provincial governments and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

“The proposed subsidy may be brought to the federal cabinet shortly,” Cheema added, hoping that “farmers would be able to stand back on their feet” as a result of the assistance. He stated that the government was assisting agriculture ministries in whatever way possible

Separately, Cheema asked the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) to develop a comprehensive plan for delivering seeds and fertiliser to flood-affected areas by the end of this month.

He also authorised the department’s request to hire technical employees to monitor locust outbreaks and diseases. He predicted that the recent floods and storms would increase the likelihood of another locust attack.