ADB plans to provide Pakistan about $7 billion in fresh assistance for various development projects and policy-based programs during the next three years under its country operations business plan 2020–2022, ADB Vice President Shixin Chen said on Friday.
The funds aim to develop the country’s social protection, urban services, energy security, transport, agriculture and water resources, education, trade, and tourism.
The bank’s vice president met Prime Minister Imran Khan during his first official visit to the country on 29–30 August, during which he reaffirmed ADB’s support for Pakistan’s development priorities.
During his two-day visit to Pakistan, Chen also met Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Minister for Economic Affairs Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Benazir Income Support Program Chairperson Sania Nishtar, Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan, Minister for Planning, Development, and Reforms Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar and other senior government officials.
“ADB has an enduring development partnership with Pakistan. Over the last five decades, Pakistan and ADB have worked together to develop the country’s key infrastructure, promote exports and private sector efficiency, reform public sector management, develop the country’s financial market, improve urban services, provide emergency assistance, and prioritize social sector development.” Chen was quoted as saying in a press statement issued by the bank after his meeting with PM Khan.
ADB and Pakistan are preparing a new five-year Country Partnership Strategy for 2020 to 2024. Aligned with the government’s development vision and ADB’s 2030 Strategy, the new CPS will define development priorities to support Pakistan’s economic transformation programmes, the statement read.
Mr Chen visited the Hasan Abdal–Havelian Expressway (E-35) constructed with the support of ADB and the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom, Pehur Irrigation Project, and a facilitation centre of the Benazir Income Support Program.
ADB provided its first loan to Pakistan in 1968 to help the country fund the credit requirements of small and medium-scale industries. Since then, ADB has committed nearly $33 billion in financing to improve Pakistan’s economy, reduce poverty, and achieve the country’s development goals.