• Wednesday, May 29, 2024


Pakistan gets over $163 million COVID-19 aid from EU

A worker wearing protective gear sprays disinfectant on a train at the Lahore railway station during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Lahore on May 7, 2020. (Photo by ARIF ALI/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

To tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Union (EU) is providing over $163 million funding to Pakistan. This is the latest aid received by the South Asian nation.

Pakistan has reported 25,837 coronavirus cases and 594 deaths, the health authorities said on Friday (8).

The EU Ambassador to Pakistan, Androulla Kaminara met prime minister Imran Khan on Thursday (7) to reiterate the union’s commitment to support Pakistan during the crisis.

“She presented the over $163 million COVID-19 package that the EU has put together in support to Pakistan. It is towards the short and medium term response in the emerging health crisis in Pakistan and into strengthening the preparedness of Pakistan’s people for its social and economic impact, with a specific focus on the most vulnerable,” a statement said.

The prime minister briefed the ambassador on the government’s vision and action to fight COVID-19.

On May 6, the Asian Development Bank and Pakistan finalised a $305 million emergency COVID-19 loan to help the country buy medical equipment and disburse money to poor women.

Last month, Pakistan had received an emergency loan of $1.39 billion from the IMF and an aid of $200 million from the World Bank. While the IMF loan was to boost Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, the WB aid focused on supporting preparedness and emergency response in the health sector.

Pakistan’s foreign currency reserves had dropped to a four-month low at USD 10.97 billion on April 10, 2020. The virus has also adversely hit the country’s economy.

Recently, Pakistan requested G-20 nations for debt relief with a commitment of not contracting new non-concessional loans except those allowed under the IMF and World Bank guidelines.

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