ISLAMABAD: The Government of Pakistan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed financing deals worth $1.54 billion to uplift energy, transport and urban sectors in the country.
The deal includes a $300 million policy-based loan to support technical and governance reforms to strengthen the energy sector. The financing is also aimed at reducing and managing the accumulated cash shortfall across the power supply chain known as circular debt.
ADB will also provide a $235 million loan to upgrade 222-kilometer Shikarpur–Rajanpur section of the National Highway 55 which is part of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Corridor 5 which links the ports of Karachi and Gwadar in southern Pakistan with national and international economic centres to the north.
The $385 million financing ($380 million ADB loan and a $5 million grant) will help improve the livability of five cities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. The project will improve water supply and sanitation in the cities of Abbottabad, Kohat, Mardan, Mingora, and Peshawar, benefiting up to 3.5 million people.
Two project readiness financing projects include $5 million for the Kurram Tangi Integrated Water Resources Development Project and $15 million for phase-II of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cities Improvement Investment Project. It will help provide sustainable urban services and mobility across multiple cities in the province.
The signed agreements also include a $603 million results-based lending programme to expand Ehsaas social protection programmes through conditional cash transfers.
The agreements were signed by ADB Country Director Yong Ye and Economic Affairs Division Secretary Mian Asad Hayaud Din. Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan, ADB Governor, ADB’s Vice President Shixin Chen and Director General Yevgeniy Zhukov also witnessed the signing ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, Omar Ayub Khan expressed his deep appreciation and thanked the president, senior management and board of directors of ADB for their continued and enhanced financial support towards reforming the energy sector, improving road networks, enhancing social protection and developing sustainable cities in Pakistan.
He reiterated the government’s strong commitment to support all the provinces, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan for achieving inclusive growth and sustainable development.
“The projects mark ADB’s strong commitment for Pakistan’s post-pandemic recovery and sustainable development. Pakistan and ADB will continue working together to improve economic management, build resilience, boost competitiveness and private sector development,” Yong Ye said.
Pakistan is a founding member of ADB. Since 1966, ADB has committed more than $36 billion to improve the country’s infrastructure, energy and food security, transport networks and urban and social services.