ADB to provide $600 million for Ehsaas Programme

APP News Agency

22nd Oct, 2021. 12:03 pm
ADB to provide $600 million for Ehsaas Programme

ADB to provide $600 million for Ehsaas Programme — Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $600 million for Ehsaas Programme under the Integrated Social Protection Development Programme.

ADB country director Yong Ye called on Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Islamabad, a statement said.

During the meeting Omar Ayub Khan congratulated Yong Ye on assuming the charge as the ADB country director in Pakistan.

The minister appreciated the ADB management and the board of directors for their continued technical and financial support to the government of Pakistan.

Khan also acknowledged the ADB’s timely support for the procurement of the Covid vaccine and reiterated that the government is committed to provide maximum vaccination coverage to the eligible population.

Both sides also discussed mobilisation of additional financial resources for mass vaccination drives in the country.

The minister shared the government’s vision and development priorities with the ADB team. He highlighted the importance of improved road network and digital connectivity, which are fundamental for service delivery and economic growth through enhanced mobility of individuals, farm-to-market access, trade of goods and services, exchange of information and e-commerce.

He also emphasised on capacity-building of project executing agencies and staff for efficient project implementation.

Khan stressed on using digital tools and satellites for effective project monitoring across the country.

Ye briefed the minister on the ADB’s portfolio in Pakistan and highlighted that the ADB has committed to provide $6.3 billion under the Country Operation Business Plan (2021/23) to Pakistan.

At present, 32 projects worth $6.4 billion are under implementation in energy, road and transport, agriculture and irrigation, urban services, education, health and social protection.

The ADB country director also said the bank has recently negotiated a new programme with the government of Pakistan for the provision of $600 million for the Integrated Social Protection Development.

This programme will support the government’s efforts to implement high priorities from its Ehsaas Programme (social protection and poverty reduction) in a coordinated, cohesive and systematic manner.

Under this programme, institutional capacity for social protection and climate resilience will also be strengthened. Further, access to primary and secondary education, health services and nutrition supplies will be enhanced for women, especially mothers, adolescents, and children of poor families.

Ye also reiterated the ADB’s commitment to continue its technical and financial support to the government of Pakistan for priority areas.

Meanwhile, the minister also chaired a high-level meeting to review the financing needs for the procurement of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The meeting was attended by EAD secretary, NDMA chairman, director general (Health) of the Ministry of Health, ADB team and senior government officials.

The minister directed to ensure uninterrupted supply of vaccine and identify financing gaps, if any.

The ADB team commended the minister for his proactive approach and facilitation.