Islamabad, 5 May, 2020:
A meeting of the Concept Clearance Committee was held on 4th May to discuss the financing plan being offered by the ADB in the efforts to support the Covid-19 emergency relief services under the title “Emergency Assistance for Fighting against Covid-19 Pandemic” worth USD 305 Million was presented and was subsequently approved. The meeting was chaired by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan which was attended by a delegation of Asian Development Bank led by the Country Director Ms. Xiaohong Yang. ADB will provide USD 200 Million for social protection for the poor and vulnerable and USD 105 Million for public health emergency preparedness.
The proposal will also focus on stockpiling of stores and health inventories for any unexpected surge and to sustain the provision of personal protective equipments (PPEs) and medical supplies throughout Corona pandemic. The proposal also envisage up gradation of existing facilities or adding additional space within existing facilities, training of health staff, strengthening of the health management systems including inventory control, disease surveillance, and standard protocols, as well as the provision of water and sanitation facilities and improvement of hygiene at public places.
DCPC Jahanzeb Khan said that government was exploring avenues to provide assistance to those directly affected by the Corona pandemic that were previously not eligible for financial assistance from BISP. Various modalities for the provision of the funding to the Government of Pakistan under the loan agreement were discussed. The forum accorded approval for ADB loan to the federal government which will be implemented through the NDRMF (National Disaster Risk Management Fund) for execution in provinces and special areas as grant.
Officials from the Ministry of Planning Commission, Ministry of National Health Services and Regulation, Economic Affairs Division, Ministry of Finance, NDMA and Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) were also present.