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Pakistan

ADB approves $300mn loan for Pakistan, to fight coronavirus  

Under the project, the purchase of medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospitals and their
19 May 2020
  • Under the project, the purchase of medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospitals and their frontline health workers will be made.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday has approved a $300 million emergency assistance loan to Pakistan, which will be used to mitigate the impact of coronavirus in the country.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant detrimental impact on the health and economic prospects of the people of Pakistan,” said ADB Vice-President Shixin Chen, in a statement.

“Financing through this project will fast-track ADB’s assistance to strengthen Pakistan’s public health capabilities, provide immediate support to vulnerable women and their families, and facilitate knowledge sharing with Pakistan's neighbors and other countries in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation region,” he added.

Under the project, the purchase of medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospitals and their frontline health workers will be made. The funds will also be used for upgrading medical facilities, training of health workers, the purchase of emergency vehicles to strengthen rescue capacity in remote border areas, and strengthening COVID-19 awareness among marginal communities with limited television or internet connectivity.

Furthermore, the ADB’s project will provide cash assistance to directly benefit the women of poor households through the government’s Ehsaas Emergency Cash Assistance Package, launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These payments are designed to meet the basic food needs and necessary living expenses of poor and vulnerable women and families, which are the bedrock of Pakistani society,” said ADB’s Project Administration Unit Head and co-team leader of the project Zheng Wu. “Unconditional cash transfers help improve the nutritional intake of poor households and boost women’s economic empowerment. This project will build Pakistan’s capacity to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and other health emergencies.”

The Government of Norway has also contributed $5.28 million in grant proceeds for Pakistan’s COVID-19 response, which will be administered by ADB.