ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government signed an agreement on Friday to support Pakistan’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF), said an official press release.
According to the ADB statement, Secretary Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed and ADB’s Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang signed the agreement.
After the signing ceremony, Yang met with Chargé d’affaires of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Islamabad Sigbjørn Tenfjord to discuss the project.
Under the agreement, the government of Norway will provide a $5.28 million grant to strengthen the emergency response system in KP amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The grant is drawn from the unused resources of the Pakistan Earthquake Fund and will be administered by the ADB, the statement explained.
“The grant will help provide emergency response services, procure necessary equipment and supplies to poor communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s remote areas,” said Yang. “This reflects the enduring partnership and commitment of the Norwegian government and ADB to supporting disaster risk reduction in Pakistan,” she said according to the ADB.
In April, ADB reallocated $30 million from the National Disaster Risk Management Project to support Pakistan’s pandemic response and the NDRMF Board of Directors allocated an additional $20 million from the Endowment Fund capitalised earned interest.
Norway has provided significant financial and technical support to Pakistan, including in good governance, education, health, and emergency assistance, mentioned the ADB statement.
Norway worked with the ADB and other partners to help Pakistan swiftly rebuild and recover from the 2005 earthquake.
“Following the heavy floods, which devastated large parts of Pakistan in 2010 and 2011, Norway provided more than $56.4 million in aid for flood-affected families and to restore basic services.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region,” added the statement.