Federal government takes yet another initiative against the coronavirus pandemic spread in Pakistan

Federal government takes yet another initiative against the coronavirus pandemic spread in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD - The government has decided to reallocate non-utilized funds and seek fresh funds from multilateral agencies for coronavirus (Covid-19) prevention across the country, said federal minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar.

The federal minister took to Twitter on Friday and said,

Economic Affairs Division is finalizing reallocations of non-utilized funds from some foreign projects & seeking fresh funds from multilateral agencies to deploy towards Corvid-19 prevention across the country. We aim to make these funds available to relevant departments by next week.

He added that the finance division is working with the advisor on health for the provision of local funds. The provinces have also been asked to coordinate with their respective health departments for the provision of resources.

The World Bank has committed $12 billion (£9.4 billion) aid for developing countries grappling with the coronavirus. The emergency package includes low-cost loans, grants, and technical assistance. The action comes as leaders around the world pledge to shield their countries from the economic impact of the outbreak. It follows warnings that economic slowdown from the outbreak could tip countries into recession.

The International Monetary Fund has announced $50 billion (£39 billion) of support for countries hit by the coronavirus. The IMF said it is making the money available to help poor and middle-income countries with weak health systems respond to the epidemic.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced $200 million through its Supply Chain Finance Program for companies manufacturing and distributing medicines and other items needed to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Companies manufacturing and distributing products, including medicines and personal protective equipment, are increasingly strained as production and distribution ramp-up to address COVID-19. The support from ADB, working in partnership with commercial banks, will provide such companies in Asia and the Pacific with additional working capital to meet expansion and other requirements.

ADB’s Head of Trade and Supply Chain Finance Steven Beck says:

The support will target companies in the supply chain that are critical to fighting the virus. We’re looking to support companies that want to ramp up production and therefore need to engage suppliers.

Given that a single pool of supply chain finance is typically used for a subsequent delivery over a period of 120–180 days, the $200 million facility could support more than $400 million of financing over the next 12 months.

Fifty-fifty risk sharing from partner commercial banks could boost support under the facility to $800 million over the same period.