COVID-19: ADB approves $300m to fight pandemic in Pakistan

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By Muhammad Luqman
The Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $300 million emergency assistance loan to strengthen Pakistan’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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 on Tuesday.
The project will support the purchase of medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospitals; upgrading of medical facilities; training of health workers; the purchase of emergency vehicles to strengthen rescue capacity in remote border areas, reads the statement.
To protect the poor, 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.
Earlier in April, the ADB repurposed 50 million U.S. dollars from Pakistan’s National Disaster Risk Management Fund to help the country strengthen its health care system amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

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