Pakistan gets debt relief from Abu Dhabi Fund for Development 

A street vendor sells colored lampshades on a road near a market in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on June 10, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 13 July 2020

Pakistan gets debt relief from Abu Dhabi Fund for Development 

  • ADFD move will ease pressure on Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves and bring relief to debt servicing, economists say
  • The fund provides financial assistance to developing countries and companies in the UAE by supporting key sectors such as education, health, energy, industry and agriculture

KARACHI: Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has suspended debt service repayments for year 2020 for several countries, including Pakistan, to help them weather the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state-owned fund said on Sunday.

The fund provides financial assistance to developing countries and companies in the UAE by supporting key sectors such as education, health, energy, transport, housing, agriculture and industry. 
“The initiative over the payment of installments and interests that covers the period from January 1 to December 31, 2020 will be implemented by ADFD in accordance with the national law and internal procedures,” the fund said in a statement.
The decision has been taken for eligible countries and individual businesses in the developing world upon a request for forbearance, ADFD said, “The sole objective behind the decision is to help them weather the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Pakistan is among the 90 countries where the UAE fund is supporting 473 development projects with a total investment of about $22 billion.
ADFD said the move is in line with the UAE government’s decision to support a plan by the Group of 20 major economies to help developing countries meet their financing needs while they are addressing the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak.
In mid-April, the G-20 agreed on a coordinated approach for a suspension of debt and services payments for the world’s poorest countries to provide stimulus to the global economy.
Last month, Pakistan’s de facto Finance Minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh told Arab News that the G-20 debt relief will help Pakistan save some $1.8 billion, which will be used for welfare programs.
Economists believe that the ADFD decision will ease pressure on Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves, as the South Asian country would get some respite for discharging its external liabilities.
“The UAE has deposited around $2 billion in Pakistan to support external position. Pakistan was seeking rollover of debts extended by friendly countries as part of International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions. The ADFD decision would bring relief to debt servicing, and the pressure on reserves would ease,” Muzamil Aslam, senior financial expert, told Arab News.
Explaining ADFD’s stand, its director general Mohammed Saif Al-Suwaidi said: “At a time when the world is reeling under the effect of the pandemic that has affected every area — from economy and society to health and education — it is imperative for us to support particularly those that need it most, especially the low-income countries. The initiative is so crucial to ensure their financial stability and that they steadily follow the path to growth and sustainable economic development.”

In a similar move to help the developing economies ride over the current crisis, the fund recently announced that it would contribute to a $10 billion support fund committed by institutions within the Arab Coordination Group. The package includes technical assistance, grants, concessional loans, financing, trade insurance and capacity development programs.


Pakistan sends medicines, food items to Lebanon after deadly explosions

Updated 07 August 2020

Pakistan sends medicines, food items to Lebanon after deadly explosions

  • More than 150 people were killed and over 5,000 others were injured when a string of blasts rocked Beirut on August 4
  • FM Qureshi assured his Lebanese counterpart that the government and people of Pakistan stood in strong solidarity with the people of Lebanon

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday sent medicines and food items to Lebanon after a string of deadly explosions ripped through Beirut earlier this week, killing more than 150 people and injuring over 5,000 others.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to Lebanon Najeeb Durrani is handing over eight tons of relief items for the victims of Beirut explosions to senior Lebanese officials at the Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut on Aug. 7, 2020. (Photo courtesy Pakistan Embassy in Beirut)

According to an official statement released in Islamabad, the country’s foreign minister called his Lebanese counterpart and informed him about the relief assistance over the phone.
“Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a telephonic conversation, informed his Lebanese counterpart, Charbel Wehbe, that 8 tons of relief assistance consisting of medicines and food supplies sent by the Government of Pakistan as a token of solidarity would be delivered in Beirut today,” said the official statement.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to Lebanon Najeeb Durrani is handing over eight tons of relief items for the victims of Beirut explosions to senior Lebanese officials at the Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut on Aug. 7, 2020. (Photo courtesy Pakistan Embassy in Beirut)

It added that Qureshi also expressed deep sorrow and grief over the loss of precious lives, injuries to people, and extensive material damage caused by the explosions.
“The Foreign Minister underscored that, at this difficult time, Pakistan stood in strong support and solidarity with the brotherly Lebanese people,” the statement said.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to Lebanon Najeeb Durrani is handing over eight tons of relief items for the victims of Beirut explosions to senior Lebanese officials at the Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut on Aug. 7, 2020. (Photo courtesy Pakistan Embassy in Beirut)

Meanwhile, authorities in Lebanon received the relief package on Friday afternoon.
“The relief goods were handed over to Deputy Chief of Protocol Mr. Salem Al Achkar from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants and General Elias Abi Karam, Commander of Lebanon’s Air Force by Najeeb Durrani, Ambassador of Pakistan, today at 1530 at Rafic Hariri International Airport,” Pakistan’s embassy in Beirut confirmed in a statement.