Manila: The Asian Development Bank (ADB)
will offer flood-hit Pakistan a two-billion-dollar emergency
loan to repair its damaged infrastructure, a report said
The Philippine-based lending institution will set up a
trust fund where ADB donors can send their contributions, the
Financial Times reported, citing the bank`s director-general
for central and west Asia, Juan Miranda.
"We will make available a minimum of two billion dollars
towards the reconstruction effort," Miranda said.
"We have a long-term commitment to the country. This is a
time when we have to show what we`re made of, to work with
everyone to figure out exactly how we can put back dignity
into the lives of the people."
An ADB spokesman said a statement about the loan would be
issued from its headquarters in Manila later today, but did
not provide any details.
Miranda said he was due to meet Pakistan President Asif
Ali Zardari on Friday to hammer out the terms of the loan,
according to the report.
Entire villages have been wiped out and more than 1,500
people have been confirmed dead since the floods hit Pakistan
Officials said up to 20 million people and a fifth of
Pakistani territory had been affected by the catastrophe, the
worst in the history of the country.
The ADB pledge comes as the United Nations was scheduled
today to ramp up financial aid to Pakistan.
The UN last week launched an emergency appeal for 460
million dollars but till yesterday funding had reached only
54.5 per cent of this target, including pledges that were yet
to turn into cash.