ISLAMABAD: The government on Saturday signed a loan agreement worth $442.4 million with World Bank to provide equitable and sustainable access to clean drinking water, improve sanitation and reduce child stunting in Punjab.

Secretary of Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed and World Bank Country Director Najy Benhassine signed the ‘Punjab Rural Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Project’ on behalf of their respective sides.

The project interventions will cover 2,000 villages in 16 districts of Punjab that are the poorest and have worst social infrastructure and the stunting issue.

In line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to ensure equitable and inclusive socio-economic opportunities, eight districts from south Punjab — Bahawal­nagar, Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Lodhran, Mul­tan, Muzaffargarh, Rahim Yar Khan and Rajanpur — are included in the project, the Economic Affairs Division said in a statement.

Furthermore, eight other districts from central and north Punjab — Bhakkar, Chakwal, Chiniot, Jhang, Khushab, Mianwali, Pak­pattan and Sargodha — are also included after due diligence. The project will directly impact the life of the common man and create employment opportunities in rural areas.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2021

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