AfDB Approves $ 500 Million Loan to Fight Coronavirus

By on August 6, 2021 0

AfDB President Masatsugu Asakawa said vaccines would help reduce the spread and death of Covid-19; restore citizens’ confidence and relaunch economic recovery

ISLAMABAD – The Asian Development Bank (AfDB) on Friday approved a $ 500 million loan to help the Pakistani government procure and deploy safe and effective coronavirus vaccines and strengthen the country’s capacity to implement its vaccination program.

The project will support Pakistan’s national deployment and vaccination plan by purchasing and delivering approximately 39.8 million doses of covid-19 vaccine, safety boxes and syringes. It is funded by the AfDB’s $ 9 billion Asia-Pacific Vaccine Access Mechanism, launched in December 2020 to provide rapid and equitable vaccine support to developing AfDB member countries.

Later, the funding agreement was signed by Zulfiqar Haider, EAD Additional Secretary and Cleo Kawawaki, AfDB Acting Country Director.

The signing took place within 3 hours of the fast-track procedure after the approval of the AfDB Board earlier today. Federal Minister of Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan attended the signing ceremony.

“Vaccines help reduce the spread and death of COVID-19, restore the confidence of citizens and are essential for economic recovery,” AfDB President Masatsugu Asakawa said.

“This project will help protect vulnerable groups in Pakistan and is an integral part of the development partnership program helping the government to mitigate the health, social and economic impacts of the pandemic. The AfDB reaffirms its full commitment to support Pakistan.

The government aims to immunize the entire eligible population, i.e. around 119 million people including all people aged 18 and over, prioritizing frontline health workers, the elderly, marginalized groups, including refugees and internally displaced people, and people with co-morbidities. AfDB’s COVID-19 Vaccine Support Project will provide funding to immunize more than 18 million people from priority groups, or about 15% of the eligible population.

AfDB assistance will also help strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination, and the Expanded Federal Program on Immunization to effectively implement the COVID-19 vaccination program.

At the board meeting, AfDB President Masatsugu Asakawa said vaccines will help reduce the spread and death of Covid-19; restore citizens’ confidence and stimulate economic recovery. Mr. Eugene Zhukov, Managing Director (CWRD), ADB said the project is part of AfDB’s holistic support to Pakistan’s response to the Covid-19 crisis to mitigate the health, social and economic impact of the pandemic and strengthen the country’s immunization system. He also reiterated the AfDB’s commitment to continue its technical and financial support to the Government of Pakistan for priority areas.

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