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Asian Development Bank Approves $2mn Grant for Pakistan

by Newsweek Pakistan
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Jay Directo—AFP

The grant is designed to support Islamabad’s purchase of medical equipment required to combat COVID-19

The Asian Development Bank on Monday approved a $2 million grant to support Pakistan’s efforts to combat the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The grant, financed from the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund, is designed to help fund the immediate purchase of emergency medical supplies, personal protective equipment, diagnostic and laboratory supplies, and other equipment.

“[The] ADB recognizes the extraordinary burden of this pandemic on Pakistan and is committed to supporting Pakistan in the fight to control COVID-19,” said ADB Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang in a press release. “This grant will help strengthen COVID-19 detection, improve infection prevention and control, and boost Pakistan’s capacity to respond to the pandemic.”

The $2 million grant supplements an initial $500,000 approved by the ADB on March 20, which the bank said was already being utilized to support the procurement of emergency supplies through UNICEF. The ADB said more support would follow.

According to the ADB release, the assistance echoes the World Health Organization’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19 and Pakistan’s National Action Plan for Coronavirus Disease, which includes preventive measures, containment efforts, and treatment of infected persons. “Given the urgency of the required support, ADB will use the most flexible and expeditious approaches to facilitate procurement of the required medical supplies and equipment,” it added.

Last week, Pakistan decided to seek $3.7 billion additional financing from three multilateral creditors including another loan of $1.4 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to cope with the challenges being posed by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

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