ISLAMABAD: The World Bank will provide financing worth $200 million for a project of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to improve the availability, utilisation and quality of primary healthcare and elementary education services in selected districts of the province.
The financing from the International Development Association (IDA) involves $137.50m as soft loan and $62.50m as grant assistance.
The project will target four districts: Peshawar, Nowshera, Swabi and Haripur, which cover close to a quarter of the provincial population, and host two-thirds of the Afghan refugee population.
Under the project, the delivery of quality primary health care services will be strengthened by contributing to improved efficiency and resilience of the health system in the four districts, including supporting those districts dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
An important element of the project is to improve availability and quality of educational opportunities to all children, especially refugees and girls, in selected refugee hosting districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The proposed interventions would benefit both in-and out of-school children and take into account the need to cater to for the current school disruptions resulting from Covid-19.
Specific attention is required for girls, given the province’s large gender gap in education, and for refugees as a core vulnerable group. Districts with the largest concentration of refugees tend to lag behind in human development outcomes.
On average in such districts, children complete fewer than five years of schooling and one in five children are not receiving full immunisation.
Female refugees face considerable constraints in accessing education and employment.
Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2020