The ongoing sovereign portfolio of the Asian Development Bank (AfDB) in Pakistan comprises 48 loans and three thousand dollars worth $8.42 billion. According to the Membership Fact Sheet published by AfDB, in 2021, AfDB loan and grant disbursements in Pakistan amounted to $1.31 billion, of which $0.3 billion was loan program and $1.01 billion in project loans and $3 million in grants.
The report states that the AfDB Country Partnership Strategy 2021-2025 for Pakistan focuses on three priorities: improving economic management, building resilience and boosting competitiveness and private sector development.
To date, the AfDB has committed 723 public sector loans, grants and technical assistance totaling $37 billion in Pakistan. Cumulative loan and grant disbursements to Pakistan amount to $28.27 billion. These were financed through ordinary and concessional ordinary capital resources, the Asian Development Fund and other special funds. AfDB support for Pakistan’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic response in 2021 included a $500 million loan in August to help procure and deploy a safe and effective vaccine, and a loan $603 million – including $3 million from the ADF – for an integrated social protection program to strengthen Pakistan’s flagship Ehsaas program. The loan is complemented by a $24 million grant from the Education Above All Foundation.
The program builds on a previous loan of $500 million under the AfDB’s COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Program and a $300 million emergency assistance loan to strengthen Pakistan’s public health response to protect the poorest families from the pandemic.
The AfDB has committed $300 million for the construction of the Balakot Hydroelectric Power Station on the Kunhar River near the town of Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. By 2027, the plant will add 1,143 gigawatt hours of clean energy per year to the country’s energy mix, improving the reliability and sustainability of the energy sector, the report adds.
Another $300 million policy-based loan has been committed to support reforms aimed at strengthening Pakistan’s energy sector and improving its financial sustainability. The program will help to reduce and manage the cash deficit accumulated throughout the electricity supply chain, known as circular debt. The AfDB continued to strengthen Pakistan’s financial sector, develop competitive capital markets and encourage private sector investment. The AfDB has committed a $235 million loan to further upgrade the 222 kilometer Shikarpur-Rajanpur section of National Highway 55 from two lanes to a four-lane carriageway, linking the ports of Karachi and Gwadar in southern Pakistan , national and international economic centers. North.
The AfDB has committed a $385 million loan to improve livability and community health in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cities including Abbottabad, Kohat, Mardan, Mingora and Peshawar, benefiting more than 3.5 million people. The report adds that the total outstanding balances and undisbursed commitments of AfDB non-sovereign transactions in Pakistan as of December 31, 2021 was $441.31 million, or 3.14% of the AfDB’s total private sector portfolio. . As part of the Country Partnership Strategy 2021-2025, the AfDB will support Pakistan’s development priorities focusing on improving economic management, building resilience and boosting competitiveness and development from the private sector.
AfDB assistance for domestic resource mobilization, financial inclusion and energy sector reforms will support macroeconomic management. Funding for workforce readiness and health will help build resilience. Support for infrastructure and urban sector investments will improve rural connectivity and urban municipal services.
Improving access to finance and supporting public-private partnerships will boost competitiveness and private sector development to put the economy back on a sustainable growth path. The AfDB will also help the country prepare for digital transformation through policy improvements, strengthening of public institutions and relevant investments in infrastructure.