The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday released $1.5 billion to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) under Building Resilience Under Active Countercyclical Expenditures (BRACE) Program.
The BRACE program aims to support the government’s efforts to deal with the adverse impacts of devastating floods, supply chain disruptions, rising energy, fuel prices and inflation on the poor and vulnerable, said a press release issued here.
It would expand the number of families receiving cash transfers through the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) from 7.9 million to 9 million, increase the number of children enrolled in primary and secondary schools, and enhance geographic coverage of health services and nutritional supplies for pregnant and lactating mothers and children under two years old.
The program is completely aligned with the government’s strategy to provide targeted and temporary countercyclical relief measures.
The facility aims to support the deployment of planned countercyclical development expenditure and will promote sound macroeconomic management.
The program is also in line with the framework of the ongoing International Monetary Fund (IMF) program to implement necessary structural reforms to improve the country’s macroeconomic prospects.
It will also enhance support for business entities to safeguard employment and would help increase food security measures as well. Furthermore, it will also strengthen the social safety net and fiscal measures for the government’s crisis response.
The BRACE program amounting to $1.5 billion was approved by the ADB Board on Friday, 21st October 2022.
This program was initially conceived and approved by the ADB’s Board in May 2022 under a new Countercyclical Support Facility (CSF) to provide targeted support to its developing member countries (DMCs) facing emergency situations.
The signing ceremony of the BRACE Program was held on 24th October 2022 at Prime Minister House, which was witnessed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Senator Ishaq Dar along with Director General ADB Central and West Asia Department.