KARACHI: Police personnel arrest a shopkeeper who refused to shut down his shop at Light House Market on Wednesday in violation of the provincial government’s directive.—PPI
KARACHI: Police personnel arrest a shopkeeper who refused to shut down his shop at Light House Market on Wednesday in violation of the provincial government’s directive.—PPI

ISLAMABAD: The Asian Develo­pment Bank (ADB) and the World Bank on Wednesday committed to providing $588 million to Pakistan for its emergency response to fight coronavirus and cater to the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic.

This was announced by the Planning Commission after a meeting with country representatives of the two lending agencies on Pakistan’s preparedness and response to fight COVID-19.

The meeting, presided over by Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan, was attended by World Bank Country Director Illango Patcha­muthu, ADB Country Director Xiaohong Yang, besides Member Social Sector Dr Shabnum Sarfraz, Member Private Sector Asim Saeed, Director General Health Dr Safi and representatives of the ministries of economic affairs, finance and national health services.

Cooperation urged to jointly fight challenges

The meeting also approved in principle a project concept “Pakistan National Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19”.

According to an official statement, the World Bank would provide $238m and the ADB $350m to Pakistan in support for the COVID-19 emergency response and to address the socio-economic disruption associated with it.

The participants of the meeting agreed that not only they needed to enhance cooperation to jointly fight challenges but also work to demonstrate firm commitment for a multifaceted cooperation in different fields.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2020