Pak-ADB signs $305m loan agreement to fight Covid-19


Staff Reporter


Pakistan and Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed an agreement of US $305 million under Emergency Assistance for Fighting Against COVID-19 Pandemic for increasing the mutual cooperation.
Secretary, Economic Affairs Division, Noor Ahmed and Country Director, ADB Ms Xiaohong Yang signed the loan agreement of US $300 million and grant agreement of US $5 million between the Government of Pakistan and the Asian Development Bank under Emergency Assistance for Fighting Against COVID-19 Pandemic, says a press release issued by Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs here on Friday.
Under this financing agreement, public health emergency preparedness and response system will be strengthened. National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) will provide this financing to government agencies for procurement of medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPEs) and emergency vehicles.
In addition, public health facilities including infrastructure, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and waste management system will be upgraded.
It will also strengthen the health management systems including inventory control, disease surveillance and standard protocols, etc.
Under social protection component, an amount of US $200 million is allocated for poor and vulnerable segment of the society. Benazir Income Support Programme will utilize this amount for additional cash transfers to BISP beneficiaries and Ehsaas Programme.
The BISP will provide additional one-time cash transfer of Rs4,000 to 3.3 million beneficiary women and ongoing UCT installments of Rs2,000 per month to 2.5 million beneficiary women for the first 4-months of FY2021 to enable them to meet their basis needs.
It will also allow BISP to expand the coverage to the next level of poor families likely to be worse off from the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19.
Minister for Economic Affairs, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar has expressed his deep appreciation to ADB for this timely financial support.
He also expressed commitment of government of Pakistan to do whatever it could to protect life and livelihood of people during these difficult times.
Parliamentary Secretary for Economic Affairs Division, Muhammad Yaqoob Shaikh, witnessed the signing ceremony and thanked the ADB for its enhanced support for Pakistan.
On this occasion, Yusuf Khan, Secretary, BISP and Lt. Gen. (R) Nadeem Ahmed, CEO, NDRMF also signed the project agreements with the Country Director, ADB Ms Xiaohong Yang, Country Director, ADB expressed that ADB was committed to providing necessary financial and technical support to Pakistan in all circumstances.

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