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June 6, 2020

Pakistan, ADB sign $300m loan agreement

Top Story

June 6, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Pakistan on Friday signed loan agreement of $300 million for strengthening public health response to coronavirus and helping the poor segments of the society.

Federal Secretary of the Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed and ADB Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang signed the agreement on the loan, which will strengthen Pakistan’s public health response to COVID-19 and help meet the basic needs of the poor and vulnerable.

Secretary of the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division Yousuf Khan and Chief Executive of the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) Nadeem Ahmed signed the project documents. Parliamentary Secretary for Economic Affairs Division Mohammad Yaqoob Shaikh witnessed the signing ceremony.

“The ADB assistance signed today will support Pakistan’s social protection programme, Ehsaas, to continue providing emergency cash transfers to poor families and women,” said Ms Yang. “The project will also help swiftly upgrade medical facilities and procure necessary supplies for hospitals and frontline health workers, meet rapid training and capacity building needs, and purchase emergency vehicles to strengthen rescue capacity in remote border areas.”

In April, ADB reallocated $30 million from the National Disaster Risk Management Project to support Pakistan’s pandemic response and the NDRMF Board of Directors allocated an additional $20 million from earned interest from the Endowment Fund capitalised under the project.

The government of Norway has also contributed $5.28 million grant to strengthen the emergency response system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Under the agreement, the government of Norway will provide a $5.28 million grant to strengthen the emergency response system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province amid the COVID-19 crisis. The grant is drawn from the unused resources of the Pakistan Earthquake Fund and will be administered by ADB.

“The grant will help provide emergency response services, procure necessary equipment and supplies to poor communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s remote areas,” said Ms Yang. “This reflects the enduring partnership and commitment of the Norwegian government and ADB to supporting disaster risk reduction in Pakistan.”

Norway has provided significant financial and technical support to Pakistan, including in good governance, education, health, and emergency assistance. Norway worked with ADB and other partners to help Pakistan swiftly rebuild and recover from the 2005 earthquake. Following the heavy floods, which devastated large parts of Pakistan in 2010 and 2011, Norway provided more than $56.4 million in aid for flood-affected families and to restore basic services.