ADB plans to lend $10 billion to Pakistan in fresh assistance

ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has plans to provide Pakistan with about $10 billion in fresh assistance for various development projects in addition to $700 million financing currently available to procure Covid-19 vaccines under the bank’s APVAX facility.

The disclosure was made by Eugenue Zukhov, Director General, Central and West Asia Department of ADB during a call he made on Omar Ayub Khan, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Appreciating the ADB for continued technical and financial support to the government of Pakistan, the minister also acknowledged the provision of $500 million for procurement of Covid vaccine, and assured of the government’s commitment to maximum vaccination for the eligible population.

ADB Country Director Yong Ye, Principal Energy Specialist Asad Aleem, Senior Project Officer Nasruminallah Mian also joined the meeting.

Zukhov reiterated ADB’s commitment to support the government’s reform agenda and to speed up the economic recovery process amid the Covid-19 pandemic. He informed that ADB planned 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. He also informed that additional financing of $700 million was currently available for Pakistan to procure Covid-19 vaccines under APVAX.

The minister highlighted that given rapid urbanisation and population growth, the urban services sector was a high priority of the present government. “The government is committed to improve urban infrastructure and services including water and sanitation services, public transport, urban flooding and disaster management and health facilities,” he added. At present, ADB was financing 32 development projects amounting to $6.4 billion in energy, road and transport, agriculture and irrigation, urban services, education, health and social protection sectors.