by Nayab T.
Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 03:23 PM
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on Wednesday approved $250 million loan to Pakistan to help the country deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, ARY News reported.
Co-financed by the World Bank, this money will help strengthen the government’s Resilient Institutions for Sustainable Economy (RISE) programme, which aims to encourage investment in human capital, improve lives of vulnerable families and individuals, reduce the adverse health and economic shocks, and boost economic growth.
The AIIB has previously approved a loan of $500 million for Pakistan’s response to Covid-19. Both loans are part of the AIIB’s $10 billion funding facility to help public and private sectors fight the outbreak.
Earlier in May, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved $300 million emergency assistance loan to strengthen Pakistan’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The health crisis is expected to have far ranging and long-term repercussions on growth, which may undermine the hard-fought progress the country has made in restoring macroeconomic stability. Employment in the formal and informal sectors has already seen a downturn with the poor, women and other vulnerable groups disproportionately affected.
“The pandemic has rapidly evolved in Pakistan and now threatens to undo many of the hard-won gains made in reducing poverty over the past two decades,’ said AIIB Vice President, Investment Operations, Konstantin Limitovskiy. “Our immediate support is critical and will contribute to the government’s efforts to mitigate pandemic-related shocks, so that the country may continue on its path to sustainable development.”
The latest loan brings the total AIIB support to Pakistan to $750 million.
Economic experts in Pakistan believe that the loan will help the government deal with COVID-19-triggered economic difficulties and protect the most vulnerable segment of the society, including women.
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