ADB approves $500m loan for Pakistan to procure Covid vaccines
MANILA — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Friday approved a $500 million loan for Pakistan to help it procure and deploy safe and effective coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines and strengthen the country’s capacity to implement its vaccination program.
The loan has been financed through ADB’s $9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility launched in December 2020 to offer rapid and equitable vaccine-related support to ADB developing member countries, the bank said in a statement.
The project will support Pakistan’s National Deployment and Vaccination Plan by purchasing and delivering an estimated 39.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, safety boxes, and syringes, it added.
ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa said, “Vaccines help to reduce the spread and mortality of COVID-19, restore confidence among citizens, and are vital to the economic recovery”.
“This project will help to protect vulnerable groups in Pakistan and is an integral part of the development partner package helping the government to mitigate the health, social, and economic impacts of the pandemic. ADB reaffirms its full commitment to support Pakistan,” he added
The government is aiming to vaccinate the entire eligible population, around 119 million people comprising all those aged 18 and over, prioritizing frontline health care workers, the elderly, marginalized groups including refugees and internally displaced persons, and people with comorbidities.
ADB’s COVID-19 Vaccine Support Project will provide financing to vaccinate over 18 million people from priority groups or about 15% of the eligible population.
In May 2020, the ADB had approved a $300 million emergency assistance for Pakistan to strengthen its public health response to the pandemic.
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