ADB to give Pakistan $2.1bln in reforms support this year

Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Pakistan held a series of country consultations in Islamabad to formulate a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), on July 9, 2019. (Photo Courtesy ADB Twitter)
Updated 10 July 2019

ADB to give Pakistan $2.1bln in reforms support this year

  • Plans indicative lending of up to $10bn for various development projects in the next five years
  • Partnership strategy will be aligned with government's growth vision, country director says

ISLAMABAD: As part of plans to support Pakistan’s reform and development programs, officials from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Monday that the lender plans to provide $2.1 billion out of $3.4 billion funds during the current fiscal year.
Representatives from the ADB and the government held a series of meetings in Islamabad on Monday to formulate a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) which will guide the lender’s engagement in Pakistan from 2020 to 2024.
In a statement released on Monday, ADB’s Country Director for Pakistan, Xiaohong Yang said that the partnership strategy will prioritize innovation, analytical support, public–private partnership, and the application of new technologies.
“ADB plans to provide about $2.1 billion out of $3.4 billion funds to support Pakistan’s reform and development programs during fiscal year 2019–2020,” Yang said.
ADB has plans to support Pakistan with indicative lending of up to $10 billion for various development projects and programs during the next five years, the statement added.
“ADB’s partnership strategy will be aligned with the government’s development vision and policies, and is expected to introduce new approaches to development financing in urban services, energy security, transport, agriculture and water resources, education, trade, and tourism,” Yang said.
Nadeem Babar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for the Petroleum Division discussed the implementation of the energy sector reforms during the meetings.
Representatives from the provincial governments of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan also attended the consultations and outlined key features of their development and growth strategies. 
Babar, for his part, said that the new strategy is being formulated “at an important juncture.”
“ADB’s concessionary and result-oriented assistance will strengthen the government’s efforts to address fiscal imbalances in the energy sector through meaningful and robust reform programs and development projects,” he said, adding that the consultations will “signify the enduring partnership between the government and the people of Pakistan and ADB.”
Pakistan became a founding member of the ADB in 1966 and since then has received $32 billion in project assistance. “The country has since been working with ADB to strengthen its key infrastructure, social services, and economic growth,” the statement said.


New Zealand maintains Pakistan cricket training ban as coronavirus cases rise

Updated 04 December 2020

New Zealand maintains Pakistan cricket training ban as coronavirus cases rise

  • Ten people among the 53-member tour party have tested positive for COVID-19 while completing two weeks of isolation in Christchurch
  • Team members were confined to their rooms when the first cases emerged last week but had hoped to resume training before finishing their stint in isolation

Wellington: New Zealand health officials refused to lift a ban on Pakistan’s coronavirus-hit cricket team training during quarantine on Friday after the touring party’s number of infections climbed to 10.
The team were confined to their rooms when the first cases emerged last week but had hoped to resume training before finishing their stint in isolation on Tuesday.
However, health chiefs said the risk of further infections was too great. Ten people among the 53-member tour party have tested positive for COVID-19 while completing two weeks of isolation in Christchurch.
“I have very carefully considered this situation,” director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield said in a statement.
“At this time, I continue to have ongoing concerns about the risk of cross-infection within the squad.”
The decision means that Pakistan’s cricketers will have only 10 days to prepare for their first tour match, a Twenty20 international in Auckland on December 18, and probably less when travel is factored in.
Bloomfield said the decision was prompted by the number of active cases detected among the squad.
“Public health considerations will continue to be foremost in our response to COVID-19, whether this involves individuals or teams,” he said.
“We appreciate the challenges that this decision will have for the touring team.”
Bloomfield issued the team with a “final warning” last week for flouting social distancing protocols at their hotel and no further breaches have been reported since.
The tourists arrived in New Zealand on November 24 and are scheduled to play three T20s and two Tests.
New Zealand has largely eradicated community transmission of coronavirus, recording just 1,713 cases and 25 deaths in a population of five million.