Pakistan received $3.1b Covid assistance

Omar Ayub tells Senate major recipients of financing are finance, health services ministries


Our Correspondent May 29, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan has so far received a total of $3.1 billion foreign economic assistance out of the total $3.7 billion committed by the international creditors and different countries for mitigating socio-economic and health impacts of Covid-19 pandemic.

“Pakistan has got a total of $3.1 billion budgetary support, project financing and grants-in-aid from different international organizations and countries since the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country,” Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub told the Senate on Friday in a written reply.

The minister shared these details in response to queries of Senator Kamran Murtaza, who had asked the minister to brief about the total amount of grant and loans received from abroad by the government to combat Covid-19; and the province-wise breakup of the aforesaid grant and loans.

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Omar said his ministry only negotiates and arranges the financing on behalf of ministries, divisions, departments and provincial governments and does not receive or distribute aid to provinces or other entities itself but it is directly channeled to the recipients.

“The major recipients of Covid financing are the finance ministry, the national health services ministry, Ehsaas Programme/Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) and provincial departments.”

He said Pakistan received a total of $2,636m under budgetary support, $383.62m out of $911.17m under project financing loans and $78.97m out of the total $150.79m under grants-in-aid.

“Under budgetary support, the International Monetary Fund committed $1,386 million and disbursed the same to the Finance Division. The Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, respectively, committed $500m and $700m and provided the same to the Finance Division.”

He said the World Bank committed a total of $510m but disbursed only $114.2m to different recipients under project financing loans. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) committed an amount of US$350m but had so far disbursed $248m to NDMA, BISP and NDRMF.

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“France (AfD) had committed $51.17m but provided $21.42m to the NDRMF and the Ministry of Climate Change,” he added.  Sharing details of the grants-in-aid, the minister said that European Union had committed $57.34 and disbursed $39.50m

“The United States committed $41.90m and disbursed $20.87m; Japan committed $32.33m and provided $6.87m and the Islamic Development Bank committed $0.42 and disbursed $0.21m.”

Also, he said, the ADB committed $7.78 but provided $0.50m while China, United Kingdom, Canada, South Korea and United Nations, respectively, committed $4m, $3.38m, $2.39m, $0.85m and $0.40m and disbursed the total amount to recipients concerned.

 “Subsequently, different countries and organizations committed a total of $3,697.96m and have so far disbursed $3,098.59 to Pakistan,” the reply read.

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