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World Bank Allocates $270 Million Additional Financing for CRISP Program

World Bank Allocates $270 Million Additional Financing for CRISP Program

The World Bank’s Board of Directors is expected to convene in the last week of May to approve additional financing (AF) amounting to $270 million. This funding is intended to bolster the Crisis-Resilient Social Protection project, which initially commenced in March 2021 and is scheduled to conclude by the end of June 2025. The proposed AF seeks to extend the project’s closing date by an additional year until the end of June 2026.

The overall scope of the program remains consistent between the original project and the AF. However, adjustments have been made to the Government Program’s expenditure supported by Program for Results (PforR) Financing, incorporating actual expenditures for financial years 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23. Additionally, a 75 percent increase in the exchange rate and the inclusion of the fiscal year 2025-26 budget in the expenditure framework due to the project extension have prompted revisions. Despite these changes, the overall PforR financing constitutes 9 percent of the government’s program.

The proposed AF aims to contribute to Result Areas 1 and 3 of the parent project. Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) proposed under the AF will address longer-term policy actions concerning the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) and the National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER).

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Result Area 1 focuses on several key outcomes, including the adoption of recertification protocols for BISP programs, institutionalization of an indexation mechanism for the base cash transfer program (Kafaalat), extension of outreach to potential Kafaalat beneficiaries in the NSER, and enhancement of program accessibility at the local level through initiatives like MELA and program touchpoints.

Result Area 3 aims to rectify the current overlap of federal and provincial cash transfer (CCT) programs and prevent future overlap. This includes the gradual transition of certain services currently provided by federal health and nutrition-focused CCT programs to the provinces of Punjab and Sindh.

Official documents underscore Pakistan’s ongoing challenges in poverty reduction, exacerbated by recent shocks such as macroeconomic instability, the COVID-19 pandemic, and catastrophic floods in 2022. Despite significant progress in poverty reduction between 2001 and 2018, socioeconomic indicators, particularly human capital outcomes, remain poor. Persistent fiscal and economic constraints, including trade policies, unproductive agriculture, and an unsustainable energy sector, continue to impede sustained and inclusive growth.