Pakistan, ADB finalise emergency loan worth $305mn to fight COVID-19

ISLAMABAD: In a bid to fight against COVID-19 in the country, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved an emergency grant worth $305 million to Pakistan to purchase health equipment.

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The funds will also be distributed among needy women as financial assistance to cope with the pandemic outbreak

After deliberation, the Concept Clearance Committee meeting headed by Planning Commission deputy chairman cleared the $305 million grant offered by ADB.

The loan will be converged in the overall Pakistan National Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for Covid-19, approved by the Planning Commission earlier, raising the total to $588 million that includes the $238 million loan issued by the World Bank.

Out of the total loan, $200 million will be utilised to extend financial support to existing beneficiaries.

An addition of 18 million people will also be taken on board to provide them financial assistance as well to lessen the impact of Covid-19 on their livelihoods.

Furthermore, $100 million will be used to stockpile and reserve health inventories and medical supplies for the next three months in case of emergency throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Along with a continuous supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), the equipment includes Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machines, ventilators, X-ray machines, intensive care unit (ICU) monitors, nebulisers, synthesisers, viral transport medium, ICU beds, ultrasounds, etc.

Around 100 ambulances equipped with Covid-19 care facilities will also be either upgraded or purchased by the authorities.

Laboratories, ICUs of district and tertiary hospitals, quarantine and isolation facilities will also be catered under the issues grant.

While briefing on the matter, the Planning Ministry informed that the emergency funds will be used to upgrade existing facilities, add space in the existing facilities, training of health staff and strengthening of the health management systems, including inventory control, disease surveillance, and standard protocols, as well as the provision of water and sanitation facilities and improvement of hygiene at public places.

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