World Bank agrees to support agri, nutrition projects in Punjab, KP

ISLAMABAD, Feb 02 (APP):The World Bank agreed on Friday to extend loan and grant worth US$305 million to support projects in agriculture sector in Punjab and to improve the nutrition status of children as well as women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The loan and grant agreement was signed by Secretary, Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Arif Ahmed Khan on behalf of Government of Pakistan while representatives of Government of Punjab and Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa signed their respective Project Agreements.
Country Director, World Bank, Patchamuthu Illangovan signed the loan and grant Agreements and the project agreements on behalf of World Bank.
Strengthening Markets for Agriculture and Rural Transformation (SMART) in Punjab Program worth 300.0 million (Loan) is aimed to help the Punjab government to promote transformational change in the crop and livestock sub-sectors by focusing on activities contributing to three results areas including increased on-farm productivity and value of crops and livestock; increased value addition and competitiveness of crops and livestock, and enhanced resilience of smallholder farmers to climate change and natural disasters.
Each results area involves a specific combination of policy reforms, institutional strengthening and public investments.
Additional Financing of $5 million (grant) for enhanced nutrition for Mothers and Children project would be extended to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.
The objectives of the grant is to scale-up nutrition intervention in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to improve the nutritional status of children under two years of age, as well as pregnant and lactating women.
The Secretary, Economic Affairs Division (EAD), 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.