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ADB’s ongoing sovereign portfolio in Pakistan includes 48 loans worth $8.42bn

ISLAMABAD, Sep 17 (DNA): The ongoing sovereign portfolio of Asian
Development Bank (ADB) in Pakistan includes 48 loans and three grands
worth of $8.42 billion.

According to the member fact sheet released by the ADB, in 2021, ADB’s
loan and grant disbursements to Pakistan amounted to $1.31 billion,
comprising $0.3 billion in program lending and $1.01 billion from
project lending and $3 million from grants.

The report said the ADB’s country partnership strategy 2021–2025 for
Pakistan focuses on three priorities–improving economic management,
building resilience, and boosting competitiveness and private sector
development, a private television channel Saturday quoted ADB report as
having said.

To date, ADB has committed 723 public sector loans, grants, and
technical assistance totaling $37 billion to Pakistan. Cumulative loan
and grant disbursements to Pakistan amount to $28.27 billion. These were
financed by regular and concessional ordinary capital resources, the
Asian Development Fund, and other special funds.

ADB’s support to Pakistan’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic
response in 2021 included a $500 million loan in August to help procure
and deploy safe and effective vaccine, and a $603 million loan—of which
$3 million is from the ADF—for an integrated social protection program
to strengthen Pakistan’s flagship Ehsaas program. The loan is
complemented by a $24 million grant from the Education Above All

The program builds on an earlier $500 million loan under ADB’s COVID-19
Active Response and Expenditure Support Program and a $300 million
emergency assistance loan to strengthen Pakistan’s public health
response to shield the poorest families from the pandemic.

ADB committed $300 million for the construction of Balakot hydropower
plant on the Kunhar river near Balakot City in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. By
2027, the plant will add 1,143 gigawatt hours of clean energy annually
to the country’s energy mix, enhancing the energy sector’s reliability
and sustainability, the report added.

Another $300 million policy-based loan was committed to support reforms
to strengthen Pakistan’s energy sector and improve its financial
sustainability. The program will help reduce and manage the accumulated
cash shortfall across the power supply chain known as circular debt. ADB
continued to strengthen Pakistan’s finance sector, develop competitive
capital markets, and encourage private sector investment.

ADB committed a $235 million loan to further upgrade the 222-kilometer
Shikarpur–Rajanpur section of the National Highway 55 from two lanes
into a four-lane carriageway, linking the ports of Karachi and Gwadar in
southern Pakistan with national and international economic centers to
the north.

ADB committed $385 million loan to improve the livability and community
health in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cities including Abbottabad, Kohat,
Mardan, Mingora, and Peshawar, benefiting over 3.5 million people.

The report added that total outstanding balances and undisbursed
commitments of ADB’s nonsovereign transactions in Pakistan as of 31
December 2021 was $441.31 million representing 3.14% of ADB’s total
private sector portfolio.

Under the country partnership strategy 2021–2025, ADB will support
Pakistan’s development priorities by focusing on improving economic
management, building resilience, and boosting competitiveness and
private sector development.

ADB’s assistance for domestic resource mobilization, financial
inclusion, and energy sector reforms will support macroeconomic
management. Financing for workforce readiness and health will help build
resilience. Support for infrastructure and urban sector investments will
improve rural connectivity and urban municipal services.

Improving access to finance and supporting public–private partnership
will boost competitiveness and private sector development to return the
economy to a sustainable growth trajectory. ADB will also help the
country prepare for digital transformation through policy improvements,
public institution strengthening, and relevant infrastructure
investments. DNA


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