PAKISTAN: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Monday approved another $2 million grant to support the government’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan.
The new grant supplements an initial $500,000 approved by the bank on March 20 which is already being deployed to support Pakistan’s procurement of emergency supplies through Unicef, says the ADB in a press release.
Taken together, this $2.5m in approved funding represents ADB’s immediate response for Pakistan, with further support to follow.
The grant, financed from the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund, will help fund the immediate purchase of emergency medical supplies, personal protective equipment, diagnostic and laboratory supplies, and other equipment.
“ADB recognises 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. “This grant will help strengthen Covid-19 detection, improve infection prevention and control, and boost Pakistan’s capacity to respond to the pandemic,” she said.
ADB’s assistance echoes the World Health Organisation’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, the ADB will use the most flexible and expeditious approaches to facilitate procurement of the required medical supplies and equipment.
Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2020