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A meeting held at the Planning Commission approved the COVID-19 health emergency response project for which the financing was provided by the AFD (Agency Francaise de Development). The project was approved at a cost of USD 20 Million.
The meeting was chaired by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan. The DG Health informed the forum that the AFD funds for the health project will be utilized for effective, and efficient COVID19 case management, up gradation of existing health facilities or setting up new facilities where needed, and strengthening capacity of the health workforce. The funds will also be used for strengthening of the health management systems i.e. inventory control, disease surveillance, standard protocols, etc, as well as provision of equipment to meet the national requirements.
Member Social Sector, Dr Shabnum Sarfraz informed that with approved of this project, the total amount of funds awarded by the Planning Commission to the MoNHSRC since the start of the epidemic has now reached to USD 613 Million. She said that the Government of Pakistan has made substantial funding available to fight the epidemic. She stressed on the need for expediting the procurement to meet the need of the provinces and making sure that the budgets are utilized in an effective and efficient manner.
DCPC Jahanzeb Khan said that the proposed project will complement and enhance the impact of ongoing government initiatives for COVID-19 response and preparedness. He acknowledged the Agency Francaise de Development (AFD) for supporting the Government, and said that it is extremely valuable in mounting an effective response and recovery strategy against COVID-19 pandemic. He further said that AFD and the Government of Pakistan have a longstanding partnership for the development of people of our country. As the Government of Pakistan employs all possible resources to mitigate the human and financial damage caused by COVID-19, critical support from international partners such as AFD is acknowledged and appreciated.
Officials from the Ministry of Planning Commission, Ministry of National Health Services and Regulation, Ministry of Climate Change, EAD, NDMA and AFD were also present in the meeting.