ADB to provide $700m for Covid vaccine
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $700 million to Pakistan to procure Covid-19 vaccine under ADB’s Asia Pacific Vaccine Access (APVAX) facility.
The announcement was made by ADB director general Eugenue Zukhov, who called on Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan on Tuesday.
He informed that the ADB plans to provide Pakistan about $10 billion in fresh assistance for various development projects, particularly, in the sectors of urban services, disaster risk reduction and policy-based programmes in the next five years.
Zhukov informed the government that additional financing of $700 million is currently available for Pakistan to procure Covid-19 vaccines under the ADB’s APVAX facility.
The Minister for Economic Affairs appreciated the ADB for their continued technical and financial support to the Government of Pakistan.
The Minister shared that the Government is committed to provide maximum vaccination coverage to eligible population and highlighted that given rapid urbanization and population growth, urban services sector was a high priority of the Government.
At present, ADB is financing 32 development projects amounting to $6.4 billion in energy, road & and transport, agriculture & irrigation, urban services, education, health and social protection.
The Minister highlighted that through the National Coordination Committee on Foreign Funded Projects, Economic Affairs Division (EAD) had not only significantly improved performance of ongoing projects by removing major bottlenecks including delays in land acquisition, right of way issues & hiring of project staff, but had also undertaken an internal exercise to weed out non-performing projects to redirect resources towards more sustainable projects.
The Minister, while appreciating the ADB’s continued support to Pakistan, assured the director general, ADB that the Government is committed to complete structural reforms in multiple areas of the economy including energy, capital markets, trade competitiveness, domestic resource mobilization and governance
Eugenue Zukhov also appreciated the government of Pakistan’s support in successfully evacuating the ADB personnel working in Afghanistan.
The minister for economic affairs and director general, ADB agreed to continue discussing ways to further deepen the ADB and Pakistan’s development partnership; and ensure effectiveness of the ongoing portfolio
Yong Ye, country director, Asad Aleem, principal energy specialist and Nasruminallah Mian, senior project officer also joined the meeting.
$600m for Ehsaas programme
A few days earlier, ADB Country Director Yong Ye announced that ADB would provide $600 million for Ehsaas Program under the Integrated Social Protection Development Program.
This program will support the government’s efforts to implement high priorities from its Ehsaas Program (social protection and poverty reduction) in a coordinated, cohesive and systematic manner.
Under this program, institutional capacity for social protection and climate resilience will also be strengthened, said the country director.
Omar Ayub Khan appreciated the ADB Management and Board of Directors for their continued technical and financial support to the Government of Pakistan.