Saudi fund to provide $16mn in grants for infrastructure, health, education

The SFD will provide a grant $16 million on the construction of Lohar Gali Road Tunnel (1.7 km) on Muzaffarabad-Abbottabad Road, reconstruction programme of Earthquake Affected Areas in AJK and KPK, and the construction of infrastructure for Malakand Region Project (KPK and FATA).

ISLAMABAD: The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) will provide $16 million in grants to Pakistan in infrastructure, health and education sectors.

Officials informed that the SFD delegation under the supervision of chairman of the board of directors Ahmad Agil F Al-Khateeb visited Pakistan on Thursday and signed three finance agreements.

The SFD will provide a grant $16 million on the construction of Lohar Gali Road Tunnel (1.7 km) on Muzaffarabad-Abbottabad Road, reconstruction programme of Earthquake Affected Areas in AJK and KPK, and the construction of infrastructure for Malakand Region Project (KPK and FATA).

Officials told that project proposal of construction of Lohar Gali Road Tunnel (1.7 km) on Muzaffarabad-Abbottabad Road came under discussion during the visit of Pakistani delegation on 1 September 2015.

Lohar Gali road is a major link between AJK and KPK however it is facing blockage of traffic flow due to frequent land sliding. To overcome this traffic interruption, the possibility of a road tunnel has been explored through a comprehensive feasibility study.

The concept proposal of the captioned Project, at the cost of Rs2971 million, has been cleared by the Azad Kashmir Development Working Party (AKDWP) forum in its meeting held on July 30, 2015.

The project aims at the development and reconstruction of AJK University, government offices, residential buildings, educational Institutions and hospitals and health units in KPK. Out of 6 AJK projects, 3 have been completed and 3 are under completion whereas out of 24 KPK projects, 10 have been completed, 9 are near completion and 5 are under completion.

Presently, Pakistan is facing difficulties in foreign reserves as State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) figures show that Pakistan Foreign reserves recorded $9 billion till September 19, 2018. Pakistan has to repay around $9 billion in the current fiscal year.

Officials told that Pakistan received $820 in loans and grants from multilateral, bilateral and commercial banks during the first two months of the current fiscal year.

Overall, international creditors loaned $716 million to Pakistan in the first two months of the current fiscal year.

Meanwhile, Pakistan also received $103 grants from different countries including UK, USA, Japan and ADB and IBRD.

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Shahzad Paracha
The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Islamabad bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]
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