ADB to provide $1.7b to Pakistan to fight impacts of Covid-19

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STAFF REPORTER
ISLAMABAD Asian Development Bank has assured to provide 1.7 billion dollars to Pakistan to fight the impacts of coronavirus. The assurance w as given by the President of Asian Development Bank Masatsugu Asakawa during a virtual meeting with Minister for Economic Affairs Khusro Bakhtiar here on Friday. Federal Minister thanked the President of Asian Development Bank for extending financial assistance of $2.5 million as grant and repurposing of $50 million for procurement of equipment relating to COVID-19 response in Pakistan. He also requested the President ADB for early approval of $500 million as Counter Cyclical Support and $300 million as Emergency Assistance Lending (EAL) within this financial year. The Minister also urged the President of ADB for his support to a pipeline of $900 million as various Policy Based Loans for reforms in Capital Markets, Trade & Competitiveness and Energy Sector to be approved by the Board of ADB before the end of 2020. Federal Minister expressed his views that the socioeconomic impact of COVID 19 is more severe in the developing and lowincome countries due to their limited technical and financial capacity. With this in mind, the Prime Minister of Pakistan appealed to the world community including bilateral and multilateral development partners for their joint support to address socioeconomic challenges and debt relief for developing countries. The President ADB apprised the Minister that Asian Development Bank has so far extended grant assistance worth $2.5 million and repurposed $50 million from National Disaster Risk Management Fund for Pakistan to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and this support would bolster Pakistan’s capability to contain the virus. Masatsugu Asakawa also assured that the Bank will positively consider Pakistan’s request for timely approval of additional financing from its Board. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and President ADB expressed their strong commitment for enhanced financial assistance for socio-economic development of Pakistan especially after the onset of COVID-19 pandemic.

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