$430m loan for Pakistan social support

23 Oct 13
The Asian Development Bank has approved a $430m loan to Pakistan to it strengthen its social safety net programme and strengthen financial management systems.

By | 23 October 2013

The Asian Development Bank has approved a $430m loan to Pakistan to it strengthen its social safety net programme and strengthen financial management systems.

Specifically, it will support the state-run Benazir Income Support Programme to expand its cash transfer scheme, which is paid quarterly to the mother in each poor household.

Around 7.2 million families in Pakistan have been identified for cash transfer assistance, but a third of these cannot receive payments because women to not have the necessary national identity cards.

The ADB funds will be used to support mobile teams who will collect information and issue the identification needed to access funds.

Underlying financial management systems will also be strengthened to ensure resources are effectively delivered to those who need them.

In addition, the cash will be used to broaden and improve a pilot health insurance scheme and a skills development programme.

Michiel Van der Auwera, financial sector economist in ADB’s Central & West Asia department, said: ‘Broadening coverage of the cash transfer programme and improving the health and skills training components will reverse the cycle of intergenerational poverty that afflicts so many low-income families.

‘Better management and targeting of assistance will also ensure precious resources reach the most vulnerable households.’

The Pakistan government is providing $148m for the project on top of the ADB funds. It will run for five years with an estimated completion date of December 2018.

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