WB to give Pakistan 1 bln USD

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The World Bank said it has approved two projects totaling 1.09 billion US dollars in a bid to boost electricity supply and improve irrigated agriculture in Pakistan.
The first project will cost 840 million dollars and will boost the country’s hydropower generation capacity while the second is geared toward maximizing water use efficiency for increased yield per unit of water, the bank said in a statement.
The hydropower project will “enhance Pakistan’s energy security,” said Rachid Benmessaoud, the bank’s country director for Pakistan.
He pointed out that the direct beneficiaries would be millions of energy users, including industry, households and farmers who would get more electricity at a lower cost and suffer fewer blackouts.
Masood Ahmad, World Bank’s lead water specialist said the second project would promote water conservation and increase crop yields.
Availability of electricity is crucial for Pakistan’s economic growth and development, while the challenges in the water sector are equally daunting with shrinking water resources and growing demand, the bank noted.

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