ISLAMABAD: The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has agreed to provide $650 million financial support to Pakistan to help absorb the impact of Covid-19 outbreak.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar had a video call with Islamic Development Bank President Dr. Bandar M.H. Hajjar and discussed latest situation arising out of the Covid-19.

Mr Hajjar assured “bank’s support to Pakistan in the testing times under the pandemic,” the statement said adding the president said International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITDC) has been directed to immediately finalise $500 million for import of oil and liquefied natural gas and an amount of $150 million is being allocated to mitigate the pandemic impact.

The IDB president also assured the minister of bank’s full support for the people and the government of Pakistan to mitigate the negative impacts of Covid-19.

He told the minister that board of IDB Group had approved the $2.3 billion ‘Strategic Preparedness and Response Package’ for the IDB member countries to mitigate and recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the short, medium, and long-term.

The economic affairs minister appreciated IDB Group President for his special priority for Pakistan.

The technical teams from both sides have already outlined the initial assessment for Covid-19 related financing.

Ministry of economic affairs will evaluate and prioritise the proposals received.

The final requirement of the country will be shared with IDB to materialise financing by the IDB.

The minister and the IDB president expressed their strong commitment to further strengthen the relations as well as IDB portfolio in Pakistan especially for the Covid-19 related emergency activities.

Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2020

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