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March 19, 2020

WB, ADB to provide Rs93.3 billion for COVID-19 emergency response in Pakistan

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March 19, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Planning on Wednesday cleared an amount of $238 million from World Bank funding and endorsed another $350 million (total $588 million equal to Rs93.28 billion) funding offered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in support for the COVID-19 emergency response in Pakistan and to address the socio-economic disruption associated with it.

A special meeting of Concept Clearance Committee of Central Development Working Party (CDWP) was held here on Wednesday under the Chairmanship of Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan.

Member Social Sector Dr Shabnum Sarfraz, Member Private Sector Asim Saeed, DG Health Dr Safi, Country Director, World Bank, Illango Patchamuthu, ADB Country Director Xiaohong Yang and representatives from Economic Affairs Division (EAD), Finance and health ministries were also present in the meeting.

The project concept titled "Pakistan National Emergency Preparedness and response Plan for COVID-19"was presented and was subsequently approved. The emergency project focus on taking measures through additional resources for strengthening the integrated disease surveillance and response system across the country through establishing isolation rooms, ensuring availability of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) equipment and protective clothing for the health teams, timely diagnostics and procurement of equipment and ventilators for critical care/case management across the country.

It also included establishment of a real time surveillance mechanism for early detection and embedding of prevention and control measures to halt / minimize local transmission.

Chairing the meeting, Jehanzeb Khan thanked ADB and World Bank for the all-out support to Pakistan during testing times. He said not only we need to enhance our cooperation to jointly fight challenges but we must also work to demonstrate out firm commitment for a multifaceted cooperation in different fields.

Country Director, World Bank and ADB elaborated on the various financial instruments that would be made available to support the Government for responding to the COVID-19, both for the emergency response as well as for catering to the socio economic impact of the epidemic on the vulnerable and marginalized population.