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ADB approves $300m loan to Pakistan to fight COVID-19

ADB approves $300m loan to Pakistan to fight COVID-19

ISLAMABAD: Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday 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.

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.

It is pertinent to mention here that on April 13, the Asian Development Bank said it will roll out a massive $20 billion package to help developing member nations weather the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The fund represents the tripling of a package announced just a month ago, which the ADB decided to boost as the scale of the contagion’s impact has mushroomed.

Nearly simultaneous shutdowns across the global economy, with workers ordered to hunker down at home against the virus, have set the stage for a deep recession.