Pak sign 300 mln dlrs loan agreements with ADB

December 18th, 2008 - 12:15 am ICT by ANI  

Islamabad , Dec. 17 (ANI): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Pakistan government today signed agreements for three programme loans totaling 300 million dollars for Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab meant to support economic growth, poverty reduction and improved health of women and infants.

The agreements were signed by Pakistan Secretary Economic Affairs Division, Farrakh Qayyum and Rune Stroem, Country Director ADB on behalf of government of Pakistan and ADB.

The News quoted, Secretary EAD, Farrakh Qayym as saying that development partners were seriously involved in the development of the country saying that ADB has been supporting government’’s initiatives to bring about economic development.

ADB Country Director, said that ADB and the government was working on common goal to enhance growth and reduce poverty in the country.

Representatives of provincial governments of Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh also signed their programme agreements with ADB.

Out of 300 million dollars, 100 million dollars is dedicated for the Punjab Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Program, 100 million dollars for the Second Balochistan Resource Management Program, and 100 million dollars for the Sindh Growth and Rural Revitalization Program. The Balochistan and Sindh programs will also receive technical assistance grants.

Punjab , Pakistan ‘’s most populous province is facing massive challenges in providing health care services to a growing population. The Program is expected to contribute towards improving health facilities for women and infants.

The main objective of the programme is to improve health delivery services, create better health management systems, focus more on preventive healthcare, improve primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare, establish community hospitals and trauma centres, target the poor, women and children and enhance capacity for planning, costing and budgeting through Medium Term Budgetary Framework exercises.

Sindh provincial government will invest the 100 million dollars loan in improving public resource management and boosting investment in rural areas to reduce poverty and enhance economic opportunities, thus helping relieving pressure on the urban areas.

The program promotes public private partnerships (PPPs) to stimulate investment in much-needed infrastructure and social services in the rural areas.

ADB will provide technical assistance of 800,000 dollars which will be used to conduct studies and draw up options for PPPs.

Balochistan will utilize the loan to strengthen the provincial government’’s management of public finances, and also to create a more sustainable and affordable civil service pension system, help to improve governance in the lucrative but largely-untapped mineral resources sector.

To this end, ADB will provide an additional 800,000 dollars as a technical assistance grant to help the provincial government to implement the Program effectively.

“The loans will help the provincial governments in dealing with pressing challenges in economic development, fighting poverty and meeting MDGs for minimizing maternal and infant mortality” Rune Stroem added.(ANI)

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