ADB’s Assistance to Pakistan

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The economy across the globe has suffered due to the ongoing pandemic and lockdowns imposed to curb it, and its impacts have been observed on the socio-economic projects of the world. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is supporting its developing members in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak through finance, knowledge, and partnerships. In the case of Pakistan, the COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) Program has been launched by ADB which is part of an integrated package of support to help the Government of Pakistan’s immediate efforts to mitigate the significant negative health, social, and economic impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The CARES Program aimed to provide budget support to help finance countercyclical development expenditures and support social protection for the poor and vulnerable and expanded health sector response to the pandemic, and a pro-poor fiscal stimulus package to ensure recovery in growth and employment. In January 2021, ADB came up with a five-year program where $10 billion will be spent on economic stability and growth where employment and economic opportunities will be provided to the citizens. The recent assessment report of Pakistan highlighted that country is suffering from low exports, a shortfall in government income and low-tax collection, which is resulting in uneven growth. On top of that, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the economic difficulties and risks of climate change and food/water security further threatens the sustainability of hard-earned gains. ADB’s response to the amplified challenges faced by Pakistan is to improve the economy through the revitalization of public sector enterprises, promoting domestic resource mobilization and the capital market, helping poor in the rural region to gain decent jobs, and continue to improve social protection, quality education and health services. ADB aims to achieve these goals by funding climate resilience projects, investing in clean water, affordable housing, technology, innovation and skills development. Ever since Pakistan acquired membership of ADB in 1966, the ADB has disbursed $25.18 billion approx. in cumulative loan and grants to Pakistan.

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