The World Bank on Thursday approved $900 million in loans to improve education in Pakistan's Punjab and Sindh provinces and support a poverty-fighting fund for local community groups. The World Bank money comes as Pakistan struggles with a balance of payments crisis and fighting in the northwest of the country that has left 2.5 million people homeless. The World Bank said the $650 million in financing for the Punjab and separate Sindh education sector reform projects were aimed at encouraging more children to go to school and improve the quality of schooling. Also, another $250 million for the Third Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, which the Bank has supported since 2000 and has reached more than 2 million people, will seek to support community groups with financing, micro-credit loans and skills training for the poor.