ISLAMABAD              -          Pakistan and World Bank on Tuesday signed loan agreements for five projects worth $787 million that are related to urban mobility, urban management and service delivery, water and sewerage services, tourism and power sectors.

Noor Ahmed, Secretary Economic Affairs Division, signed the loan agreements on behalf of government of Pakistan while representatives of government of Sindh, government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and National Transmission & Despatch Company Ltd signed the project agreements of their respective projects. Patchamuthu Illangovan, Country Director World Bank, signed the agreements on behalf of World Bank. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Muhammad Hammad Azhar witnessed the signing ceremony of five projects.

The projects included Karachi Mobility (Yellow Line) at the cost of $382.0 million: The objective of the project is to improve mobility, accessibility and safety along the yellow line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridor in Karachi. The project will help to develop urban road infrastructure (Yellow Corridor), rehabilitating or reconstructing road infrastructure along the yellow corridor, development and operationalization of a BRT system and capacity building.

Meanwhile, the second project that was signed for Karachi Water and Sewerage Services Improvement (1st Phase) Project of $40.0 million. The project aims to improve access to safe water services in Karachi and to increase Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB)'s financial and operational performance. The project is conceived as the first in a proposed series of projects that forms a long-term program to address the serious WASH service gaps in rapidly growing Karachi.

Meanwhile, government and World Bank also signed ‘Competitive and Livable City of Karachi Project’ worth $230.0 million. The project objective is to improve the performance of Karachi Local Councils and agencies in urban management, financing and service delivery; and to improve the business environment for private sector development in Karachi. The project will help to address the challenges of urban management service delivery and business environment being faced by Karachi by selectively tackling critical bottlenecks.

Fourth project, which was signed, was Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Integrated Tourism Development Project of $70.0 million. The objectives of the project are to improve tourism-enabling infrastructure, develop tourism assets, and strengthen management for sustainable tourism development in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Additional Financing of $65.0 million for Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000) Project was also signed. The objective of the ongoing project is to create the conditions for sustainable electricity trade of 1300MW between Central Asian countries (Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic) and South Asian countries [(Pakistan (1000MW), Afghanistan (300MW)].

Minister for Economic Affairs highlighted that signing of 5 projects worth $787 million indicates resolve of the World Bank to support the development agenda of the present government. He thanked the World Bank for extending its continuous support to the Government of Pakistan in its efforts to achieve sustainable economic development in the country.

Country Director, World Bank, while appreciating the reforms initiatives of the current government, committed to extend possible support and facilitation to the government to help put the economy back on track.