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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday signed two financial agreements worth $400 million with the World Bank for accelerating climate resilience development in Punjab.

The two projects are aiming to improve the environment and quality of life in cities of Punjab. These include Punjab Cities Programme ($200m) and Punjab Green Development Programme ($200m).

Secretary Economic Affairs Division Syed Ghazanfar Abbas Jilani signed the financing agreements on behalf of the Government of Pakistan, while representatives of Punjab government signed their respective programme/operation agreements.

Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan signed the financing and programme/operation agreements on behalf of the World Bank.

An official statement issued said that Punjab Cities Programme aims to strengthen the performance of participating urban local governments in urban management and service delivery.

The Punjab Cities Programme will strengthen urban local governments’ ability to deliver green municipal infrastructure and services in 16 cities benefiting 4.1 million people. The programme will also build systems to improve transparency, accountability, and responsiveness of the city governments.

The programme will support the operation implementing entity’s implementation of its Performance Based Grants (PBG) programme to selected 16 MCs for strengthening their institutional performance and the carrying out eligible infrastructure investments.

The Punjab Green Development Programme will strengthen the province’s environmental management through empowering its departments to provide better environmental services to citizens and the private sector, with a focus on strengthening the capacity of the Environment Protection Department.

It will help modernise laws and regulations and promote investments in cleaner technologies to reduce air and water pollution. The objectives of the programme are to strengthen environmental governance and promote green investments in the province.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2018