ADB disbursed $1.78b to Pakistan in 2020

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Islamabad

Asian Development Bank disbursed US$1.78 billion to Pakistan in term of loan and grant during the year 2020, comprising $1.1 billion in program lending and $680.7 million from project lending.

According to a member fact sheet issued by the ADB on the occasion of its 54th annual meetings on Tuesday, the ADB provided significant and rapid support to Pakistan’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic response.

This included a $500 million loan under the bank’s COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Program to help the government deliver social protection programs.

The funds were channeled through the government’s flagship poverty alleviation program, Ehsaas, to expand health sector capabilities and deliver fiscal stimulus to boost economic growth and create jobs, the factsheet added.

It added that the ADB also approved $2 million from its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund and $3 million through regional technical assistance to help Pakistan purchase personal protective equipment and other emergency medical supplies.

The bank and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation cofinanced $1 million to train 4,500 doctors and paramedical staff in COVID-19 critical care.

ADB committed $300 million in emergency assistance and $5 million from Norway to strengthen Pakistan’s public health system and help meet the basic needs of the poor and vulnerable.

The bank also reallocated $30 million from the National Disaster Risk Management Project to support the country’s pandemic response, while the National Disaster Risk Management Fund allocated an additional $20 million from interest earned.

In other measures, ADB provided a $300 million policy-based loan to strengthen Pakistan’s finance sector, develop competitive capital markets, and encourage private sector investment.

The bank also committed a $300 million policy-based loan to help promote macroeconomic stability by improving trade competitiveness and diversifying exports.

In Punjab, ADB signed an agreement to provide $8.32 million through its Project Readiness Financing Facility.

The financing will enable vital preparatory work ahead of a series of major Punjab projects to enhance water availability and increase agricultural productivity.

ADB also provided technical assistance of $1.5 million to strengthen food security and post-pandemic resilience in agriculture, following an unprecedented locust infestation. –APP