ADB, Pakistan sign $300 mln emergency COVID-19 loan agreement

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ADB, Pakistan sign $300 mln emergency COVID-19 loan agreement

ISLAMABAD,(APP):The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Government of Pakistan Friday signed the loan agreement for a $300 million emergency assistance loan initially approved by the bank on 19 May.

        The Secretary of the Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed and ADB Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang signed the agreement here on the loan, which will strengthen Pakistan’s public health response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic 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 program 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, the 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 capitalized 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.