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Omar Ayub chairs meeting on procurement of COVID-19 vaccines

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan chaired a meeting on additional financing for procuring COVID-19 vaccines in Islamabad.

The Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan, the Country Director Asian Development Bank (ADB) Yong Ye, the Executive Director to ADB Noor Ahmed, the Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Mian Asad Hayaud Din, and Senior Officers from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the Ministry of National Health Services, the Ministry of Finance and ADB attended the meeting.

The meeting discussed additional financing options by the Bank to the Government under ADB’s “Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility,” for vaccinating the remaining population of Pakistan against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the meeting, Omar Ayub Khan highlighted the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recognition of the government of Pakistan’s efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and rapidly vaccinating a large section of the population.

The Country Director ADB reiterated the Bank’s commitment to support the government’s vaccination drive against COVID-19.

It was highlighted that out of the initial US$ 500 million provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in August 2021, US$ 409 million had already been utilized for the procurement of vaccines.

The federal minister said, “I firmly believe that ADB will also ensure the provision of additional financing to enable the government to carry on its vaccination drive against the COVID-19 pandemic unencumbered.”

During the meeting, Omer Ayub Khan also appreciated the tireless efforts of the EAD colleagues and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in assisting the evacuation of the ADB and World Bank personnel from Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs directed the EAD, the NDMA, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Finance, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to continue discussions on the scope of additional financing required and any associated operational-level matters for early processing of funds to procure COVID-19 vaccines.

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