Pakistan and ADB signed financing agreements amounting to $1.54 billion for energy and urban sector reforms and social protection programmes.
Pakistan and ADB signed financing agreements amounting to $1.54 billion for energy and urban sector reforms and social protection programmes. Image Credit: ADB

Islamabad: The Pakistan government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed financing agreements worth $1.54 billion to improve energy, transport and urban sectors in the country.

The deal includes a $300 million policy-based loan to support technical and governance reforms to strengthen Pakistan’s energy sector. The financing is also aimed at reducing and managing the accumulated cash shortfall across the power supply chain known as circular debt.

ADB will also provide a $235 million loan to upgrade 222-kilometer Shikarpur–Rajanpur section of the National Highway 55 which is part of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Corridor 5 which links the ports of Karachi and Gwadar in southern Pakistan with national and international economic centres to the north.

The $385 million financing ($380 million ADB loan and a $5 million grant) will help improve the livability of five cities in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. The project will improve water supply and sanitation in the cities of Abbottabad, Kohat, Mardan, Mingora, and Peshawar, benefitting up to 3.5 million people.

Two project readiness financing projects include $5 million for the Kurram Tangi Integrated Water Resources Development Project and $15 million for phase-II of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cities Improvement Investment Project. It will help provide sustainable urban services and mobility across multiple cities in the province.

The signed agreements also include $603 million results-based lending programme to expand Ehsaas social protection programs in Pakistan through conditional cash transfers.

The agreements were signed by ADB country director Yong Ye and Pakistan’s economic affairs division secretary Mian Asad Hayaud Din. ADB governor and minister for economic affairs Omar Ayub Khan, ADB’s vice president Shixin Chen and director general Yevgeniy Zhukov also witnessed the signing ceremony.

“The projects mark ADB’s strong commitment for Pakistan’s post-pandemic recovery and sustainable development. Pakistan and ADB will continue working together to improve economic management, build resilience, boost competitiveness and private sector development,” Yong Ye said.

Pakistan is a founding member of ADB. Since 1966, ADB has committed more than $36 billion to improve the country’s infrastructure, energy and food security, transport networks and urban and social services.