ADB approves $500m loan to help Pakistan procure Covid-19 vaccines

Published August 6, 2021
The loan for Pakistan was sanctioned under the ADB’s $9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility launched in December 2020.— File photo
The loan for Pakistan was sanctioned under the ADB’s $9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility launched in December 2020.— File photo

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday approved a $500 million loan for Pakistan to help it procure Covid-19 vaccines and strengthen the country’s capacity to implement its vaccination programme.

ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa, in a statement, said the loan for Pakistan was sanctioned under the ADB’s $9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility launched in December 2020.

He said the project will support Pakistan’s national vaccination plan by enabling it to purchase an estimated 39.8m doses of Covid-19 vaccines, safety boxes, and syringes.

The ADB chief added that the programme was aimed at offering rapid and equitable vaccine-related support to its developing member countries.

“Vaccines help to reduce the spread and mortality of Covid-19, restore confidence among citizens, and are vital to the economic recovery," he said.

He underlined that the project would help protect vulnerable groups in Pakistan, adding that it was an integral part of the development partner package, helping the government to mitigate the health, social and economic impacts of the pandemic.

He said the ADB reaffirmed its full commitment to support Pakistan.

Asakawa underlined that the government was aiming to vaccinate the entire eligible population — around 119 million people comprising all those aged 18 years and above — while prioritising frontline health care workers, the elderly, marginalised groups including refugees and internally displaced persons, and people with comorbidities.

“ADB’s Covid-19 vaccine support project will provide financing to vaccinate over 18m people from priority groups.”

In May last year, the ADB had approved a $300 million emergency assistance for Pakistan to strengthen its public health response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Similarly in June 2020, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) had approved a $500 million loan to the country, co-funded by ADB, to support cash transfers to poor families adversely affected by coronavirus lockdowns and other government initiatives designed to alleviate the negative economic and social impacts of the pandemic.

The government of Norway had also contributed $5.28m in grant proceeds for Pakistan’s Covid-19 response last year, which was administered by the ADB.

Opinion

Editorial

Police Lines bombing
Updated 31 Jan, 2023

Police Lines bombing

Where the menace of terrorism is concerned, the government and opposition need to close ranks and put up a united front.
Oil price hike
31 Jan, 2023

Oil price hike

THE record single-day increase in petrol prices, preceded by massive currency depreciation, signifies the ...
Babar Azam’s award
31 Jan, 2023

Babar Azam’s award

BABAR Azam might not have lifted many trophies as Pakistan’s all-format captain in the last year but the star...
Blatant Islamophobia
Updated 30 Jan, 2023

Blatant Islamophobia

Muslim extremists and terrorist outfits are emboldened by hateful acts.
Modern slavery
30 Jan, 2023

Modern slavery

MODERN slavery is a wide-ranging term that can encompass a multitude of scenarios. Common to all of them, however, ...
Remarkable Sania
30 Jan, 2023

Remarkable Sania

BRINGING to a close a career in which she smashed stereotypes, Sania Mirza delivered almost the perfect ending in ...