ADB to provide $1.5-billion loan to Pakistan

February 6th, 2009 - 11:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Feb 6 (DPA) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is to provide a loan of $1.5 billion to Pakistan for the infrastructure development, a bank official said Friday.”The ADB plans to approve $1.5 billion for Pakistan’s various projects during the ongoing calendar year 2009 against disbursement of $1.87 billion in 2008,” ADB Country Director, Rune Stroem told reporters in Islamabad.

He was addressing a press conference after signing an agreement with Pakistan’s Secretary of the Economic Affairs Division, Farrakh Qayyum for the provision of $300-million loan to improve water and sanitation services in six cities in the southern province of Sindh.

More such agreements amounting to around $1.2 billion are to be signed in the coming months.

“This program is aimed at bringing improvement in water, sanitation and solid waste management,” Qayyum said.

Sindh, Pakistan’s second most populous province, faces rising population growth, a severe deficit of basic urban infrastructure and services and growing urban poverty.

Limited access to and poor quality of water supply, together with poor sanitation, is causing a spread of diseases and chronic illnesses such as diarrhoea, especially among children.

“The investment will help the provincial government of Sindh cope with mounting challenges in providing basic urban services to an estimated four million residents over the next several years,” Stroem said.

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