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Asian Development Bank has approved a loan of $500 million for COVID-19 vaccines

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Asian Development Bank (ADB)
The Asian Development Bank headquarters stands in Manila, the Philippines, on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012. The ADB will provide a loan of almost $37 million to restore and preserve two national reserves in China's Jiangsu province, the lender said in a statement on Dec. 20. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Asian Development Bank has approved a $500 million loan to Pakistan to assist it buy and deploy safe and effective coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines and boost its vaccination program.

“Vaccines assist decrease the spread and mortality of COVID-19, restore citizen confidence, and help the economy recover,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa.

“This initiative is part of the development partner package assisting the government offset the health, social, and economic repercussions of the pandemic,” he added. ADB reaffirms its full support for Pakistan.

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The initiative will purchase and deliver roughly 39.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, safety boxes, and syringes, enough to vaccinate at least 18.1 million people from priority groups.

Assuring that all eligible adults (18 and older) receive vaccinations, the government prioritizes frontline healthcare personnel, elderly, marginalized groups (including refugees and internally displaced individuals), and people with co-morbidities.

The $9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility, inaugurated in December 2020, will fund the initiative.

To efficiently implement the COVID-19 vaccination program, ADB will assist the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination and the Federal Expanded Program on Immunization.

Ongoing help will be provided in the areas of performance and information systems audits as well as waste management.

The ADB previously aided Pakistan’s COVID-19 reaction. This includes a $300 million emergency financing to Pakistan to improve public health and treat COVID-19 cases.

A $500 million COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support program loan and a $2 million Asia Pacific Disaster Relief Assist grant were granted to fund the urgent acquisition of essential medical supplies and equipment.

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