ISLAMABAD: The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has approved a $60 million supplementary fund for Pakistan to support the country’s polio eradication programme.
This includes a $39 million IsDB Murabaha and a $21 million grant from the IsDB-managed Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF). The sum has been approved by the IsDB Board of Executive Directors at the virtual meeting held in Jeddah chaired by IsDB President Dr Bandar Hajjar early this week.
As the Islamic bank had previously contributed $100 million to the same project, the new supplementary funding takes its total contribution up to the $160 million mark.
Meanwhile, the 25th meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (IHR) on the international spread of poliovirus held in Geneva observed that there is still much more work to do to end polio transmission in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The polio infrastructure that has been developed in Pakistan and Afghanistan has been used to assist with the tracking and tracing as part of the Covid-19 pandemic response.
A statement issued by the IHR Emergency Committee stated that in Pakistan, polio transmission continues to be widespread, as indicated by both acute flaccid paralysis surveillance and environmental sampling.
Wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) transmission continues to be widespread, with southern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) becoming a new WPV1 reservoir, and some areas such as Karachi and the Quetta block having uninterrupted transmission, the statement added.
It further said that there has also been expansion of WPV1 to previously polio free areas in Sindh and Punjab.