ISLAMABAD - The government is implementing the second phase of Citizen’s Damage Compensation Programme (CDCP) and has so fd 741,058 Watan Cards to ensure compensation for flood victims in the country.

National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) on Sunday claimed that Rs. 20.362 billion have been disbursed through Watan Cards and it plans to accommodate around 1.1 million families affected due to devastating floods. Deputy Chairman of NADRA said that in the second phase, Rs. 40,000 (in two installments) has to be provided to each of the households identified by the provinces with joint collaboration of Cabinet Division (Emergency Relief Cell) and Provincial Disaster Management Authorities.

As per details, the Watan Card project was launched by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani few months back and of the total disbursement in second phase, NADRA issued so far 316,816 with total disbursement of Rs. 7.853 billion Watan Cards in Punjab, 147,147 in Sindh with disbursement of Rs. 2.939 billion, in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, the number of Watan Cards issued stood at 263,545 with disbursement of Rs. 9.21 billion in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in Balochistan total processed so far 4,489 with disbursement of Rs. 65.54 million.

He said in Azad Kashmir 5,812 cards with cash disbursement of Rs. 174.26 million while five NADRA sites were set up in Hattian, Haveli, Mirpur, Neelum and Rawalakot-I.

Moreover, in Gilgit-Baltistan more than 3,249 cards were issued as three sites were established in Gilgit, Hunza and Skardu. Total cash disbursement was Rs. 128.12 million.

Around 500 beneficiaries remain to be processed in Mardan while the disbursement in Pabbi, Tangi and Mardan is very low or nil. Tangi and Pabbi centres can be closed and the remaining caseload can be processed at Charsadda and Nowshera respectively while the resources can be utilized at any other WCFC where the Authority needs them like Kohistan, Battagram etc. to facilitate the beneficiaries.

He said NADRA has covered more than 90 pc caseload of CDCP Phase- II beneficiaries, pertaining to Haveeli, Hattian, Neelum, Mirpur, Rawalakot of AJK, Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu of Gilgit-Baltistan, Charsadda, Mardan, Noshera, DI Khan, Haripur, Lower Dir, Lakki Marwat, Kohat, and Hangu of Khyber Pakhtukhwa, Mianwali, Jhang, Khushab, Bhakkar, Dera Ghazi Khan of Punjab.

Role of donor agencies is also appreciable as second phase is being supported by four donors, including USAID, DFID, the Government of Italy and the World Bank with a total allocation of US$ 580 million of which the government of Pakistan is contributing US$ 100 million.

The World Bank has been assigned the lead donor agency for this effort.

As much as Rs. 34 billion in Phase-I has already been disbursed across the country in all the provinces, including Gilgit-Baltistan and AJandK with contributions from the Federal Government as well as the provinces.

However, the initial payment of Rs 20,000 under Phase-1 is unlikely to be sufficient for recapitalization of assets given the extent of damage and loss, necessitating the graduation of CDCP into Phase-II which aims to assist the flood-affected households in rebuilding their lives beyond immediate relief.

NADRA developed a transparent programme design by using modern biometric technology and established 131 Watan Card Facilitation Centers (WCFCs) throughout the affected districts to make the project successful.

It is mentioned that July 2010 floods in Pakistan were a disaster of unprecedented scale, which affected 80 districts and nearly 10pc of Pakistan’s population of about 18 million people over a vast geographical area. The tragedy destroyed approximately 1.6 million homes and damaged 2.4 million hectares of crops.

First phase of Watan Card was launched in September 2010, whereby the Government has already distributed an initial tranche of Rs 20,000 among 1.75 million affected families in order to provide immediate relief. Disbursements to beneficiaries were done througatan Card mechanism with the support of partner Commercial Banks.