ADB releases $1.5b for Pakistan to deal with impact of floods
The Asian Development Bank on Wednesday released $1.5 billion to the State Bank of Pakistan under the Building Resilience Under Active Countercyclical Expenditures (BRACE) Program on Wednesday.
The program had been approved earlier in October and an agreement to this effect was singed earlier in the week with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif overseeing the ceremony.
The $1.5 billion BRACE Program aims to support the government’s efforts to deal with the adverse impacts of devastating floods, supply chain disruptions, rising energy and fuel prices and inflation on the poor and vulnerable.
The BRACE Program will expand the number of families receiving cash transfers through Benazir Income Support Program from 7.9 million to 9 million, increase the number of children enrolled in primary and secondary schools, and enhance geographic coverage of health services and nutritional supplies for pregnant and lactating mothers and children younger than two-years-old.
The BRACE Program is aligned with the government’s strategy to provide targeted and temporary countercyclical relief measures. It will support deployment of planned countercyclical development expenditure and will promote sound macroeconomic management.
The BRACE Program is also in line with the framework of ongoing IMF program to implement necessary structural reforms to improve the country’s macroeconomic prospects. It will also enhance support for business entities to safeguard employment and would help increasing food security measures as well.
Furthermore, it will also strengthen social safety net and fiscal measures for government’s crisis response.
This program was initially conceived and approved by the ADB’s Board in May 2022 under a new Countercyclical Support Facility (CSF) to provide targeted support to its developing member countries (DMCs) facing emergency situations.