September 14, 2022: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) provided $1.31 billion to Pakistan in terms of loan and grant during last year (2021), which was comprised $0.3 billion in program lending, $1.01 billion from project lending and $3 million from grants.
The financing was aimed at to reduce poverty and improve the country’s prosperity and resilience by supporting infrastructure, urban services, private sector, energy and food security, transport networks and social services, said a document of the bank.
To date, the bank 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, it added.
These were financed by regular and concessional ordinary capital resources, the Asian Development Fund (ADF) and other special funds. The ADB’s ongoing sovereign portfolio in Pakistan includes 48 loans and 3 grants worth $8.42 billion, it added.
The ADB also supported Pakistan in COVID-19 pandemic during 2021, which included a $500 million loan 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 Foundation.
The bank was also supporting government’s development vision and envisaged country partnership strategy 2021–25 for Pakistan, focusing on three priorities including improving economic management, building resilience and boosting competitiveness and private sector development.
Under the country partnership strategy 2021–25, 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.
The ADB also 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.
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.