WASHINGTON: The World Bank is committing $465 million through two projects to support higher education in Pakistan and expand sustainable electricity trade between Central and South Asia.
“The two projects support Pakistan’s long-term vision for building high-quality talent and promote the creation of a regional energy market to boost economic prospects for millions of Pakistanis,” said Illango Patchamuthu, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan. “Both projects form part of the priority areas identified in ‘Pakistan@100: Shaping the Future’, a flagship initiative, which identifies frontier interventions for Pakistan to become an upper middle-income country by 2047.”
The $400 million ‘Higher Education Development in Pakistan Project’ will strengthen tertiary education to produce skilled, innovative and enterprising graduates. It will strengthen partnerships with industry for strategic research and develop data-driven governance of tertiary education.
“The project will also support the improvement of teaching and learning at the affiliated college level for improved mid-level skills and employability of graduates,” said Tazeen Fasih, Lead Economist, World Bank. “The project supports the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan’s ‘Vision 2025’ programme, developing tertiary education as part of the government’s aim to become an upper-middle income country.”
The Central Asia-South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000) will enable sustainable electricity trade between Afghanistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan and Tajikistan. The project will use $65 million in additional financing to complete Pakistan’s infrastructure part of the CASA-1000 project. It will help meet the growing energy demand in Afghanistan and Pakistan, by transferring surplus summer hydropower from the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan.
“CASA-1000 will also improve livelihoods for people living along the energy corridor, sharing the prosperity associated with the project,” said Fowzia Hassan, Senior Energy Specialist at World Bank.
The International Development Association (IDA), the concessional financing arm of the World Bank, is funding both projects. While IDA supports CASA-1000’s additional financing, the ongoing project is co-financed with the Islamic Development Bank, USAID, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, and UK Department for International Development.