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(Karachi) Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide an emergency loan worth $300 million to Pakistan to strengthen public health response to the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic and help meet the basic needs of vulnerable and poor segments of society.

Economic Affairs Division Secretary Noor Ahmed and ADB Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang signed the agreement.

"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 Yang.

He added, “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.”

Earlier in May, the ADB reallocated $30 million to Pakistan from the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) Project to procure medical equipment to strengthen hospitals, and other medical facilities. In March, the bank approved $2.5 million in grants to help Pakistan purchase PPE and other medical supplies.