Source Pravda.Ru

Asian Development Bank pledges about US$1 billion to Pakistan for quake relief

The Asian Development Bank pledged on Saturday to provide about US$1 billion (Ђ860 million) to Pakistan for earthquake relief, as the government began a new push to bridge hundreds of millions of dollars (euros) in funding shortfalls.

The pledge, announced in a statement, came at the start of a donors' conference in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, at which the government hopes to raise much of the US$5.2 billion (Ђ4.45 billion) it says it needs for quake relief and rebuilding. Of that, Pakistan says it has so far received just US$211.2 million (Ђ181 million).

"Having seen firsthand the courage and resilience of the survivors, I am convinced that the affected areas will need to not only fully recover, but be built in a way to provide a better future for the children," the president of the Philippine-based Asian Development Bank, Haruhiko Kuroda, said in the statement.

ADB assistance will include the creation of a planned US$300 million (Ђ257 million) fund next month to focus on transport, power, health, education and governance, the bank said. Other funding will come from grants and the reallocation of money from existing loans to Pakistan, it said, AP reported. V.A.