The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Pakistani government signed a $300 million “Emergency Assistance Loan” agreement last Friday, which the bank initially approved on May 19.
Noor Ahmed, Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, signed a loan agreement with Yang Xiaohong, ADB’s head of state in Pakistan.
According to officials, the agreement will strengthen Pakistan’s public health response to the Covid-19 pandemic and help meet the basic needs of the poor and vulnerable.
Yousuf Khan, Secretary of the Poverty Alleviation and Social Security Division, and Nadeem Ahmed, CEO of the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF), signed the project document.
Yang Jie said: “The aid signed today by ADB will support Pakistan’s social security program, Isaac, and continue to provide emergency cash transfers to poor families and women,” “The project will also help to rapidly upgrade medical facilities and provide hospitals with Procurement of necessary materials with first-line health workers to meet the needs of rapid training and capacity building, and purchase emergency vehicles to enhance rescue capabilities in remote areas.”
In April, ADB reallocated US$30 million from the National Disaster Risk Management Project to support Pakistan’s pandemic response, and the NDRMF Board redistributed US$20 million from the interest of the endowment funds capitalized in the project.
At the same time, during the Covid-19 crisis, the Norwegian government also provided $5.28 million in grants to strengthen the emergency system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.