June 5, 2020: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Pakistan signed an agreement today to expand support for Pakistan’s response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province through the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF).
The Secretary of Pakistan’s Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed and ADB’s Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang signed the agreement. After the signing ceremony, ADB Country Director Xiaohong Yang met with Chargé d’affaires of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Islamabad Sigbjørn Tenfjord to discuss the project.
Under the agreement, the Government of Norway will provide a $5.28 million grant to strengthen the emergency response system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province amid the COVID-19 crisis. The grant is drawn from the unused resources of the Pakistan Earthquake Fund and will be administered by ADB.
“The grant will help provide emergency response services, procure necessary equipment and supplies to poor communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s remote areas,” said Ms. Yang. “This reflects the enduring partnership and commitment of the Norwegian government and ADB to supporting disaster risk reduction in Pakistan.”
In May, ADB reallocated $30 million from the National Disaster Risk Management Project to support Pakistan’s pandemic response and the NDRMF Board of Directors allocated an additional $20 million from earned interest from the Endowment Fund capitalized under the project.
Norway has provided significant financial and technical support to Pakistan, including in good governance, education, health, and emergency assistance. Norway worked with ADB and other partners to help Pakistan swiftly rebuild and recover from the 2005 earthquake. Following the heavy floods which devastated large parts of Pakistan in 2010 and 2011, Norway provided more than $56.4 million in aid for flood-affected families and to restore basic services.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.