World Bank suspends US$ 200 million funding aimed at tackling COVID-19 in Pakistan

World Bank (WB) has temporarily suspended the US$ 200 million funding to Pakistan aimed at tackling COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

World Bank has announced that it has suspended US$ 200 million worth of funding to Pakistan on a temporary basis aimed at addressing coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The project, under which US$ 100 million have been disbursed via WB COVID-19 Fast-Track Facility, is a part of World Bank’s concessional credit window for developing economies.

WB has cited the failure of federal and provincial governments to ensure the provision of essential mechanisms to strengthen healthcare systems in the country as the primary reason behind the temporary suspension.

“The implementation of the PREP project has been significantly delayed due to the pending PC-I (project approval documents) issue,” read the official statement.

The failure of federal governments in ensuring the required groundwork for utilization of foreign loans while simultaneously contracting expensive and concessionary foreign payments has resulted in a backlog of around US$ 15 billion loans.

It is to be noted that Washington based lender has issued US$ 200 million of funding under ‘Pandemic Response Effectiveness in Pakistan (PREP)’ to Pakistan.

Furthermore, WB has also downgraded Pakistan’s project development objective rating to ‘moderately unsatisfactory’.

Meanwhile, progress towards implementation of the program rating has also been downgraded to ‘moderately unsatisfactory’ from the previous ‘satisfactory’ outlook.