$1.5bn loan agreements signed to fight COVID-19 in Pak

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan witnessed the signing ceremony of $1.5 billion loan agreements with three international financial institutions for combating the COVID-19 crisis in the country, it was reported on Saturday.

According to the Prime Minister Office, the agreements were signed on Friday with the World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Asian Infrastructure Development Bank (AIIB), reports Dawn news.

The ADB is extending $500 million under the COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Programme aimed at supporting the Pakistan government’s efforts to strengthen the health system and mitigate socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic.

The AIIB is extending co-financing of $500 million under the same programme to augment the government’s efforts to mitigate direct and indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another agreement relates to the Securing Human Investments to Foster Transformation worth $500 million.

It aims to strengthen the civil registration and vital statistics, health and education systems essential for human capital accumulation, recognise and support the contribution of women to economic productivity and improve efficiency of the national safety nets.

The $1,500 million loan amount will be disbursed to Pakistan in the next few days.

As of Saturday, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Pakistan stood at 171,666, with 3,382 deaths.